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It was a perfect year for me and Team India: Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara of India
Cheteshwar Pujara of India. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

The Indian Test team enjoyed great success in 2016 where they remained unbeaten for the entire 12 months. One man who made quite a journey in the year from not doing so well and being kept aside to regaining his place and stamping his authority is Cheteshwar Pujara. He had a jolting experience in the West Indies but thereafter turned things around and has taken his reputation and with that the expectations to another level.

Talking about how he looks at the year gone by on the first day of a new year in an interview with Cricbuzz Pujara said, “Both for me personally, and from Team India’s standpoint, the year was just perfect in the way we played each game and executed our plans. My confidence levels are very high at the moment, and I hope to continue in the same vein in the coming year as well. The area that we, as a team, have always strived for is consistency. I would want to remain as consistent as possible and look to score runs each time I go out to bat.”

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He has been an established Test cricketer for Team India for quite some time now but hasn’t been considered for the shorter formats. Initially it was his style of play where he would take his time settle and then prefer to block than to launch that prevented the selectors from thinking about him for the limited-overs but things have changed now. Pujara plays his shots and scores the runs quite quickly. Doesn’t get into the shell anymore and keeps the scoreboard ticking all the time.

The Saurashtra batsman is certainly optimistic he will get his chances in all the formats. “I definitely feel that I am batting well and it’s only a matter of time before I begin to do well in all formats of the game. I am sure my opportunities will come.” Pujara said.

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Team India played a list of opponents in Test cricket this year from West Indies to South Africa and England. Talking about the one bowler who forced him to bat with more caution and made life difficult he said, “I wouldn’t want to name any one particular bowler as the toughest I faced this year because international cricket is highly competitive. Be it the ones I faced in West Indies or in the matches I played subsequently, all of them were a challenge and I wouldn’t want to single out just one bowler.”

He had a memorable time at Yorkshire and that definitely helped his batting. He said he enjoyed the time and learnt a lot but going back for another stint would depend on the international schedule as well. “It will all depend on how the season unfolds. It is too early to say how our schedules will be at that point of time. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed my last stint and there was a lot I learnt during my time in Yorkshire.” Pujara said.

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