Will be happy to make an ODI comeback, says Cheteshwar Pujara
Pujara recently had a memorable time in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament where he also registered his maiden T20 hundred.
Veteran batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has left no stones unturned in cementing and justifying his position in the Indian Test team. He’s without a doubt one of the best batsmen in the longest format currently, especially after his recent exploits on the tour Down Under. Pujara helped the Indian team record a historic series win in Australia. Perhaps, he has established himself as one of the classiest batsmen.
The 31-year-old batsman remained class apart in a situation where players like Virat Kohli grappled to gather runs. Pujara amassed an enormous 521 runs that included three hundreds as the tourists defeated Australia 2-1 to register their first-ever Test series win down under. In the process, he faced 1,258 balls throughout the series which is the most by an Indian in a Test series in Australia surpassing Rahul Dravid’s 1203 balls in the 2003-04 tour.
No wonder Pujara was honoured with the Man of the Series Award. The Saurashtra batsman carried his Test form forward into the Ranji Trophy, guiding his team to the final where they lost to Vidarbha. Not just the long format, Pujara showcased his exploits in the T20 format as well. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this year, he scored his maiden T20 hundred and followed it up with scores of 68, 42 not out and 39 not out.
Pujara’s T20 form helped improve his confidence
The veteran batsman, however, feels that the best of him is yet to come. When asked if he feels hurt when people brand him as a Test cricketer, Pujara said,” Sometimes it’s difficult to accept things but I am someone who moves on. I am not worried about what people think. However, the perception is changing now. When I started scoring in the T20 format, people have started saying ‘he can do it’. I think IPL franchises will realize that soon.
He is certainly not going on the plane to England for the World Cup but the ODI dream is still alive and he is waiting for the chances after the mega event and is flexible about his batting position as well. “If there is an opportunity after the World Cup, I would definitely like to be a part of it. Whenever the team wants me to bat, I’ll be happy to do so,” Pujara told TOI.