Sep 3, 2013
Pujara, when asked about captaining a side that has the likes of Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma, told Times of India, “I’ve captained India A before in the West Indies, when Rohit was in the team. It’s a responsibility I enjoy. I can take a stand and lead from the front. I’m generally a very calm person and that is a quality people think a captain should have.
“I like thinking about the game, keeping myself involved. As far as the future is concerned, I don’t look too far ahead and just try to do the job entrusted to me.”
Pujara said the presence of the national side’s coach Duncan Fletcher on tour of South Africa was beneficial for all youngsters.
Pujara said, “It was a good decision taken by BCCI. Fletcher is very helpful. He goes to each and every player and gives necessary advice. Even if you are scoring runs, he’ll come and tell you if you are doing something wrong. Whether you take it or leave it is up to you, but he will point out your mistakes, which I think is very important for one’s improvement.”
Talking about his experience as the captain, Pujara said, “The seniors knew their responsibilities so there was no question of giving any motivational talk to them. I told the newcomers that they had been selected for India A because they had done well in domestic cricket. I told them if they performed well, it would help them further their careers.”
The right-handed middle-order batsman admitted that his ODI debut was disappointing, but added that he can make heaps of runs in the limited-overs cricket if he gets enough opportunities.
“Things didn’t go the way I would have liked. I got a start in the first match but couldn’t carry on and in the second, I got a very good ball early on. I hope I get more opportunities to prove that I am good in ODIs too. I haven’t got enough opportunities to prove I can play all forms of cricket,” he said.
Pujara added, “Before I made my Test debut people said that I was not good enough because I had scored runs in the Ranji Trophy on flat Rajkot wickets. But when I got the opportunity to play Tests, I showed I could play the highest form of cricket well. I’m sure the same thing will happen in ODIs too, if I get enough opportunities.”