Cheteshwar Pujara running in a few paces and rolling his arm over at net sessions isn’t a new sight. But the intensity of the exercise certainly has picked up of late. Nowadays, it’s not just about getting some warm-up before batting practice. Pujara, in fact, is polishing his bowling skills in a bid to bring more to the table in the shorter formats of the game.
“I’m bowling more in the nets as I want to contribute to the team’s cause more. I want to help my team with my part-time bowling if the captain wants me to,” he said on Tuesday.
“I am also looking to bring other improvements in my game, most important playing on the rise. It will help me in the longer run,” Pujara added.
These skills, he expects, will help him in the upcoming IPL. And a good show with the Kings XI Punjab, who bought him for rs 1.9 crore, may boost his ODI career.
“If I can prove myself in the IPL, I am confident that I can get success in ODIs too. I had played a couple of good innings for my last franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore which proved that I have the talent to excel in the shortest format also. It’s all about getting more opportunities in the coming future. I am looking forward to have a successful IPL,” the middle-order batsman said.
Pujara has only played two ODIs and warmed the bench during the Asia Cup, a move that attracted widespread criticism. “It’s all about getting more and more opportunities. I have the ability to perform in all three formats of the game,” he said.
While he has been typecast as a ‘Test’ batsman, Pujara says will challenge this assertion during the IPL. “It’s a perception. I have a good ODI domestic record. I have scored runs at an impressive strike rate in domestic matches. So, I don’t think it would be a problem for me adjusting to the T20 format,” he said.
“In Twenty20, people expect big shots from you. I need to be aggressive from the first ball. I have to take my chances. I have started my preparation and the good part is there’s still a month left before the tournament gets underway,” he added.