After Tests, will Pujara excel in ODIs, T20s?
He is being looked at as a specialist Test batsman, but young Cheteshwar Pujara feels that his sterling performances in the four-Test series against England has given him enough confidence to excel in the other two versions of the game -- ODIs and T20s.
"I too want to excel in all three forms of cricket and all cricketers have to change their technique accordingly. I am confident of doing well in shorter versions of the game because I have already done well in the Challenger series apart from the tours of Australia and New Zealand," Pujara said.
Pujara, whose return to the side has bolstered Saurashtra's batting line-up ahead of their Group A Ranji Trophy tie against two-time defending champions Rajasthan, in Jaipur, said that scoring a double century and a hundred against the quality England bowling attack has given him confidence to face challenges in the upcoming rubbers.
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'I have the technique to do well in shorter versions of the game'
"The England team consisted of world class bowling attack given the likes of Graeme Swann, who is considered to be the best spinner in the world, Monty Panesar and pacer James Anderson, who can reverse the ball."
"To be able to hit a double century and a hundred and also the fact that I could spend much time at the crease has given me the confidence that I have the technique to do so. I wish to make more improvements and carry on with the same form in the future also," said the right-handed batsman.
Pujara was the top run-scorer for India against England with 438 runs under his belt at an impressive average of 87.60, with 206 not out in the Ahmedabad Test being his best.
'We lost the series because we lacked big partnerships'
Pujara attributed the 1-2 series loss against England to lack of partnerships and revealed that the issue was discussed in one of the team meetings.
"We lost the series because we lacked big partnerships. You need to have at least one 100-plus partnership to post a big total. The point was discussed too but unfortunately it did not happen. Our bowling too was reasonably good as we could keep them down to a modest total on day one in Nagpur Test but the wicket did not assist the spinners. However, Ishant Sharma did bowl well," he said.
Though, the ever-modest Pujara felt that it was not right to compare him with Rahul Dravid, who retired from international cricket in March this year, the Saurashtra batsman conceded that he likes when people talk about him as a possible replacement for the legendary Dravid.
"I feel the comparison is not right. He has amassed more than 10,000 runs in Tests and ODIs and I have just started my career. I am in his touch and often talk to him. I haven't discussed with him on how to prolong my career."
"But I feel if you are consistent, you can prolong your career," he said.