We would like to carry the momentum overseas: Cheteshwar Pujara
The India No.3 feels that the team would be a force to reckon with when they replicate their performance overseas as well.
Updated - Jul 3, 2017 7:03 pm
Cheteshwar Pujara, the highest run-scorer for India in the recent home series with 1316 runs in 13 Tests at an average 62.66, recently returned from his stint at county cricket in England with Nottinghamshire. Presently, he is preparing himself for the gruelling tour of Sri Lanka by training in Chennai.
Virat Kohli & Co. won 12 of the 13 Test matches they played in the grand home season defeating sides like New Zealand, England and Australia on home soil. The India No.3 feels that the team would be a force to reckon with when they replicate their performance overseas as well.
“We have played excellent Test cricket over the last one year. We know each other really well and are really close as a unit. So, even when we go overseas, I think we are quite strong. Now, we are experienced because many of us have played in South Africa, England and Australia. We would like to capitalise on that and show that we can be competitive overseas as well. It’s always important to play well away from home, but I don’t think there should be any pressure on any of us. We have done really well at home recently and would just like to carry the momentum in the coming months.” Pujara said.
His experience at County cricket
The batsman known for his solid technique and undeterred temperament also encouraged Indian players to think of playing county cricket to hone their skills in overseas conditions where they can learn to play in contrasting conditions, on seamer friendly pitches. He seemed confident about taking the momentum overseas mostly because of the confidence he gained during his stint with Nottinghamshire where he scored 223 runs in four matches at 44.60. He has previously played for Derbyshire and Yorkshire as well.
“I really enjoyed playing there. You learn so many things. Most of the times, you play on challenging seamer-friendly pitches, which are obviously rare in India. It’s a different experience altogether. I also got to know the likes of Stuart Broad and Samit Patel, which was nice considering they have been my opponents in the past. I would like to go back and play county cricket again if the opportunity presents itself. I definitely think more Indian players should play county cricket, but it also depends on the schedule,” added the Rajkot batsman.
Happy memories in Sri Lanka
Ahead of the Sri Lanka series in August, it is important to remember that it was in the 2015 away series against the Lankans, Pujara made his comeback to the team after a difficult period with the bat and his fortunes changed after he scored a match winning 145 runs knock in the third Test to help India secure the series. It was a classic case of how to handle failure and bounce back strong.
“It was a special innings because I was making my comeback. I was under a lot of pressure. It was a career-defining innings because I had to score in that match and prove that I belong there. After the kind of start I had to my international career, I always felt that I belonged to the top level but it was a matter of proving it once again. As a cricketer, you need to learn to handle your failures as well,” said Pujara.