Cheteshwar Pujara feels that he is not a one format player © Getty Images
Cheteshwar Pujara feels that he is not a one format player © Getty Images

One of the main reasons why India defeated Sri Lanka (away) and South Africa (home) in Test series the last year has been the run-making form Cheteshwar Pujara. Pujara has batted solidly and marched past tough situations to come be acknowledged as one of the best player in the Indian Test squad. Pujara has been heavily criticized for his none performance in the shorter format of the game feels that he is well equipped to play in Twent20 (T20) and One-Day Internationals (ODI). Pujara in an interview to Times Of India (TOI) also told that Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar also feel the same and thinks his technique is well suited to all styles of cricket.

To start of when asked about how he felt about people knowing him for only his Test skills, Pujara was quick to refute that claim. “It’s a perception. People assume things because I haven’t played that many games for India in the shorter formats. You can’t say that I can’t (play).I have just played three or four ODIs. If you look at other players, they have got more opportunities. It’s a matter of time. With more runs in the domestic circuit and possibly in the Indian Premier League (IPL), things can change. I have spoken to big players like Rahul bhai (Dravid) and Sachin paaji (Tendulkar) and they told me there’s nothing wrong with my technique. They also believe that I can play the other formats. I am working on a few other shots which have given me results in domestic T20. If I have more shots it will be an advantage,” Pujara stated.

Pujara explained, ‘I don’t want to say. I don’t want bowlers to get an idea. If I keep working on different shots, it will create doubts in the bowler’s mind. Look at AB de Villiers, he plays every shot from the sweep to the paddle sweep to the reverse sweep to fast bowlers, so bowlers are not sure what is coming their way,” when asked about what kind of shots does he have in his T20 or ODI arsenal.

Pujara last year in the early half was not included in the Test side owing to his poor form. Pujara feels that,” Comebacks are always difficult because there are so many things going on in your mind. Sometimes you feel you might not get another opportunity. I thought that the amount of runs I have made at the domestic level and even at the international level… I felt I needed to stay focused. Because of the kind of start I got to my international career, expectations were high because I have scored double hundreds. But that is in the past. I am batting well. I am back in form. I am looking good in the nets. I did well even in the domestic T20s. I think I am capable of playing ODIs and T20s too. I have worked on those aspects. I was fourth or fifth in the run-getters list in T20s.” Cheteshwar Pujara reveals change in approach working in shorter formats

Pujara feels that team-mates such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane motivates him to do well in the T20 format of the game. Pujara stated, “Definitely. If you look at the ODI format, you don’t need to accelerate as much as in T20s. You can still take your time and once you are set, you can play your shots. If you look at my Test knocks, a lot of the time I start slowly because you need to get set. But once I am set I always accelerate and the strike rate is always on the higher side.”

Pujara also added that Kings XI Punjab teammate Virender Sehwag had given him advice during his time with the franchise. Pujara concluded, “You have all the shots in the book.’ It’s all about expressing yourself in the middle.”