Didn’t get enough opportunities in IPL, feels Cheteshwar Pujara
Pujara last played an IPL game in 2014 and has featured in 30 games.
Updated - Apr 19, 2019 11:54 pm
One premier Indian batsman who fails to find himself relevant in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is Cheteshwar Pujara. The right-hand batsman, called a specialist in the longer format, last played in the T20 tournament in 2014 and in 30 games so far, he has scored only 390 runs at an average of 20.52 and strike rate of below 100. However, Pujara, who hit tons of runs in India’s historic Test series Down Under last December -January and became the man of the series, hit his first-ever T20 hundred in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy recently for Saurashtra against Railways.
The 31-year-old batsman was asked whether his 61-ball hundred in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was to convey a message to the IPL franchises about his ability to deliver in the slam-bang format, Pujara said it was about proving a point to himself more than anybody else about his ability to play in a tournament like IPL and deliver in white-ball cricket. He also said that he hadn’t had enough opportunities to play in the IPL and needed to be in the fray for the long term to understand the format.
Pujara tries to prove a point to himself more than to anybody else
“It was about proving a point to myself more than anyone else that I can play the IPL, do well in white-ball cricket. You feel happy when you work hard and the results are in your favour. This is just the beginning. I still feel there is a lot to play for as far as limited-overs cricket is concerned. I am working on a few things, but Test cricket will always remain my priority,” Pujara was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
“Sometimes I feel I didn’t get enough opportunities. Whenever I have played the IPL, I didn’t play the whole season. I just featured in three or four games and then wasn’t part of the playing XI after that. It is important for a player to get a long run to be able to better understand what needs to be done to succeed in the T20 format. Now, with experience, I know how to pace my innings, but as a youngster, some more exposure on Indian pitches would have been nice. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but you just take it in the stride and move on,” he added.
Pujara, who made his international debut in 2010, has played in only five ODIs in 2013-14, scoring 51 runs at a poor average of 10.20. In Tests, he has appeared in 68 matches scoring over 5,400 runs at an average of 51 plus and 18 centuries.
The cricketer seems set to travel to England and have another county stint this time ahead of the ICC World Test Championship.