‘Lucky to be playing under MS Dhoni as he was my first international captain’ – Cheteshwar Pujara ahead of playing for CSK in IPL 2021
Pujara would be making his comeback in the IPL after 2014.
Updated - Mar 31, 2021 8:45 am
Cheteshwar Pujara is set to make his comeback in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after last playing in the 2014 edition. After going unsold in a number of auctions, the 33-year-old found a buyer in Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the 2021 season of the T20 tournament. MS Dhoni and Co brought the veteran Indian batsman at his base price of INR 50 lakhs.
After securing his services, N Srinivasan, the CSK boss, stated that he couldn’t have let Pujara go unsold as the Saurashtra cricketer is a national hero. Pujara also sounded excited to play under MS Dhoni under whom he made his international debut back in 2010 against Australia.
It is an emotional moment for me: Cheteshwar Pujara
“It is very kind of him to say that (on Srinivasan’s comments). I feel privileged to be part of such a franchise that respects the performance of the players for the national team. I am lucky that I will be playing under Mahi bhai who was my captain when I made international debut.
“And when Mr. Srinivasan, who has been associated with cricket for a long time, says such things, it feels great. It is an emotional moment for me,” Pujara told Cricbuzz.
After making his T20 debut way back in 2007, Pujara has played only 64 games in the format and has scored 1,356 runs at an average and strike-rate of 29.47 and 109.35 respectively. He also has seven half-centuries and one century to show for his efforts.
In 30 IPL matches, Pujara has 390 runs at an average and strike-rate of 20.53 and 99.74 respectively with a top score of 51. With loads of international experience under his belt, he sounded confident of performing well for the Super Kings in the championship.
“I don’t overrate myself as a T20 player. I can’t say where I stand as a T20 cricketer but as a cricketer, I am in much better space. Having played a lot of cricket at the international level, I am very confident I will do well in the shorter format too. I feel I am part of the right setup in the IPL,” he added.