England vs India: I am under no pressure, says Cheteshwar Pujara ahead of the Test series
He emphasized that Test cricket is not ODIs where strategies keep changing.
Published - Jul 27, 2018 5:35 pm | Updated - Jul 27, 2018 5:35 pm
India’s Test pillar Cheteshwar Pujara, who is not in a great touch, has rubbished rumour that there is pressure on him or an uncertainty over his place in the Test team. He also added that he did not need to prove anything to anybody outside the dressing room and was confident about his worth in the national side.
In an interview, Pujara said that the team management was clear about their expectations from the No. 3 batsman and that he is okay with the strategies that were being discussed. Pujara, who averages 50.34 after 58 Tests, doesn’t have an equally impressive record overseas where he averages 35.25 as against 62.42 while his figures are even ordinary in England (22.20).
Though he joined Yorkshire earlier this season in a bid to prepare for the England Tests he did not have any extra-ordinary outing and nor did he score more than one run in the three-day game against Essex at Chelmsford ahead of the first Test in Birmingham that starts on August 1.
I don’t need to fear anyone
“When it comes to my batting or my position, I don’t need to fear anyone else or anything. I have proved that I am worthy enough to be part of the Indian team,” the 30-year-old Gujarat cricketer said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.
“And I have performed enough in 2017-18. I obviously deserve my place. I have offered enough to the team. My team-mates and team management have acknowledged that, so there is no pressure. I just need to focus on what I need to do,” he added.
Pujara also ruled out a competition for places in the team. He said Test is, the format that he specialises in — he needn’t have to compete with players who are good in other formats.
“Whoever scores runs in ODIs, there is no guarantee that they will score runs in Test cricket. There is no comparison or competition in that way.”
He emphasized that Test cricket is not ODIs where strategies keep changing. He said he job is to score runs and he has got clear guidelines about his role in the team.
Pujara managed 100 runs in eight first-class innings in England before returning to India to play in a one-off Test against Afghanistan and in that, too, he contributed 35 in the only innings India batted. He has been bowled and leg before a number of times in England which suggested the concern over incoming deliveries. According to the 30-year-old, however, some of his dismissals were questionable but he never liked to blame anybody over those and liked to move on.
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, on the other hand, said that irrespective of his form, Pujara has a key role to play for India in this series.