Being dubbed as a ‘Test specialist’ at times can be a bane rather than a boon and no one understands it better than Cheteshwar Pujara, who feels that the perception of people would change soon.
Unsold at the last auction, Pujara, who scored a quickfire half-century in the second innings and at times was more aggressive than skipper Virat Kohli, said that he now has more shots in his armoury which has helped him change his game in limited overs format.
With IPL auctions slated next Monday, Pujara said: “I am very hopeful that perception (Test player) will change. I have recently got a T20 hundred in a DY Patil tournament and probably I am batting more freely now. I have added few shots in my game, which is helping me.
“Even in Test format, the way I am striking the ball, the way I am batting, few series, I have changed my game which is helping me in T20 and ODI game. In near future, I think things will change,” he seemed confident.
Pujara was seen hooking fast bowler Taskin Ahmed for a six and he said that it was the demand of the situation.
“As I said, we wanted to accelerate and bat for a session. There is a perception that I can’t play too many shots. If you look at domestic cricket and overall that I have played, this was one of the occasions that gave me an opportunity to express myself and I did that.
“It was a situation, where I could play freely, take some risks and play my shots. Because when it comes to Test cricket, you still have to put a prize on your wicket and when you are playing in first innings, you don’t want to play any rash shot, get out and put the team in trouble. This was an opportunity where we had to bat for one session and even if I get out, we had batsmen who can come in and accelerate.”
India had an option of enforcing follow-on but Pujara said that bowlers needed rest after bowling 127 plus overs.
“Since we fielded for more than 100 overs, the idea was to give bowlers a break for a session so that they can recover and come back fresh. When I went into bat, we planned to score as many as runs as possible. We were looking at 150 to 200 runs on the board. We wanted to express ourselves. I was batting freely. I knew that I will have to keep hitting the ball and ultimately I am happy with the way things went,” he said.