Cheteshwar Pujara carried his bat during Kings XI Punjab’s successful run chase of 192 against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday. But his strike rate during an unbeaten 38-ball 40 was an antithesis of what a Twenty20 innings demands.
Pujara, however, hopes that with time and experience he could be a match-winner in limited-overs as well. “I won’t rate this as my best innings, but I think I played my role. The good thing is that we have big hitters like Maxwell and Miller. And also Bailey, who is a very good finisher,” Pujara said.
Pujara opens the innings for Kings XI Punjab, so he has time to get his eye in and build his innings according to the match situation. He was in the Indian squad for the Asia Cup but didn’t get a game.
“It’s always good to get a chance. I’m in the scheme of things in the Indian limited-overs team as well and the team management is aware. Because I’ve a good technique, maybe they want to use me in overseas conditions when the ball moves around,” Pujara said.
But can his stint for Punjab help him prepare well for 2015 World Cup? “It’s a different format, but the experience in the shorter format will help me improve. I know, I have some limitations in my game. I can’t make a 40-ball hundred, so I’ve to play to my strength. Also, I need some more power.”
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For a classical batsman like him, how difficult it is to improvise and get adjusted to the demands of T20 cricket?
“The most important thing is to keep the scoreboard moving. I can’t play reverse-sweeps and switch-hits like Maxwell. Those shots come naturally to him and he plays them in all formats. I’m trying some improvisations, especially the scoop.”