Indian right-handed batsman Cheteshwar Pujara feels that he needs to play country cricket again. He started gearing up for a quick communication with the media on the sidelines of the launch of a showroom ‘Sports Supplier’, there was a proposal put to him that he could have had a longer stay in Chennai. “I’ve to go back and start preparing for the Sir Lankan series. That is much more important.”
Pujara’s said that if he gave a chance, he will be playing country cricket as he enjoyed his last match in England country. “It was great to be associated with Nottinghamshire. I enjoyed playing on wickets in England in challenging conditions. Facing fast bowlers/seamers there is a different experience when compared to playing in India. I am happy that I was able to cope well and score runs.”
When asked about comeback into the Test side scoring 145 unbeaten, Pujara said “It was a special inning because I was making my comeback. I was under a lot of pressure. It was a career-defining innings because I had to score in that match and prove that I belong there.”
“After the kind of start I had to my international career, I always felt that I belonged to the top level but it was a matter of proving it once again. As a cricketer, you need to learn to handle your failures as well.”
Talking about work experience playing under Rahul Dravid, Pujara said “I will always be grateful to him for being around whenever I have needed his guidance. He is someone who has a lot of experience and is very humble.”
“When I was leading the India ‘A’ side, luckily Rahul Bhai was there. He told me that there was nothing wrong with my technique and stressed on believing in myself.”
Asked about top players that should seek opportunities to play country cricket, Pujara said “I really enjoyed playing there. You learn so many things. Most of the times, you play on challenging seamer-friendly pitches, which are obviously rare in India. It’s a different experience altogether.”
“I also got to know the likes of Stuart Broad and Samit Patel, which was nice considering they have been my opponents in the past. I would like to go back and play county cricket again if the opportunity presents itself. I definitely think more Indian players should play county cricket, but it also depends on the schedule,” said Pujara.