Cheteshwar Pujara has been eyeing the ODI spot for quite some time © Getty Images
Mar 15, 2014
Cheteshwar Pujara, the India batsman has cleared the air following his move to turn to bowling in the nets to reportedly improve his chances of making it to the One-Day International (ODI) side. Pujara was recently a part of the Indian team for the Asia Cup, but did not get a game. Despite being India’s best batsman in Test cricket and a technically solid contender, his exclusion from the one-day side has baffled many.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Pujara said that he isn’t turning to bowling to get a place in the ODI side, but to merely contribute better to the side. Pujara brushed aside suggestions that he is being labeled a Test player by saying that he has a good List A record and confirmed that he is bowling in the nets, “I have even started bowling, not just to get an ODI place, but purely to contribute in some form or the other.”
Pujara is practicing his leg spin in the nets and says that he actually started off as a spinner in his younger days before taking on batting. “I used to bowl leg-spin in junior cricket, but due to my knee injury, I had stopped.”
The knee injuries have dogged Pujara before he made a comeback to the Indian team. He missed out on the overseas tours to England and Australia in 2011-12 because of his long lay-off before returning in August 2012. However, Pujara assured that he has put in the effort for his fitness and there is no possibility of the injury troubling him again.
At the same time, Pujara said that batting is his major priority, “And, I am just bowling leg spin, trying to get control and gain confidence by playing some club matches. But that is not my priority. It is batting and fielding, in that order.”