Mohammad Azharuddin wants Cheteshwar Pujara to play County cricket

Mohammad Azharuddin wants Cheteshwar Pujara to play County cricket

Azharuddin also backed the players who decided to skip the IPL due to fitness concerns.

Mohammad Azharuddin
Former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin. (Photo By Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin feels that star Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara must ply his trade in the county cricket in order to improve his game. Pujara has been a standout performer for the Indian team in the Tests during the grand home season of Indian cricket 2016-17. Team India played 13 Tests this season as they won against all the touring oppositions – New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia.

Needless to say, Cheteshwar Pujara emerged as the top performer for the side and maintained his stake as the batting mainstay of the Indian batting order. However, now that the season has ended, the shift has moved towards the shortest format of the game. While most players are preparing for the IPL, Pujara unluckily has no takers in the tournament.

In such a situation, Mohammad Azharuddin has come up with a suggestion for the Saurashtra lad. As per the quotes in the Indian Express, he noted that Pujara must play in these two months in the English conditions. This will help him perform better when India tours overseas later.

“I would like those who are not playing IPL, especially Pujara, to go and play county cricket in England. He would encounter different types of wickets especially in April and May which will give good experience and exposure. It will help him when he tours England or other places where the ball moves around and also bounces,” Mohammad Azharuddin quoted at the Raj Singh Memorial Spirit of Cricket Lecture event at Cricket Club of India in Mumbai.

Even before the IPL 2017 has commenced, some of the top players like Ravichandran Ashwin have decided to give the tournament a miss this season. Azhar backed the move taken by the players of keeping the national set up at priority and keeping a sound check at the fitness levels.

“If they are not fit then there’s no need for them to play instead of playing and suddenly going to play for the country and finding themselves not fit. Everyone should know their fitness levels,” he quoted.