IPL auctions are always “tricky” territory and going unsold does not make Cheteshwar Pujara a frustrated cricketer as he challenges public perception as a red ball specialist. There are players who have had similar success rates (around 110) but were handpicked by franchises, but the architect of India’s historic series win in Australia in 2018-19 has been left high and dry. Does it hurt or annoy him to let others decide his credentials as a T20 player? “As a cricket player, I cannot take that view. Also, I feel like I am someone who will never have such an ego as I have seen and known that IPL auctions are tricky,” Pujara told PTI during an exclusive interview. .
“I’ve seen world class players like Hashim Amla go unsold at the auctions. There have been a lot of good T20 players who have missed the auction. So I don’t have a big ego that they don’t pick me out. Yes, if I wanted a choice. I would like to play IPL, ”said India’s chief test batsman alongside skipper Virat Kohli.
Does he feel like he is a victim of the public perception so widespread in the Indian cricket ecosystem?
“I would say yes, it is a perception that you are being tagged as a test player and there is not much I can do about it,” said the man who took the 2-1 series victory for India in Australia with over 500 runs. in the 2018/19. series.
“I’ve always said I should get chances and once I get chances then only I can prove myself as a white ball cricket player. I’ve performed well in List A cricket (average 54), also in domestic T20s (century in Mushtaq Ali). Trophy). I did well in the list of A matches in England. “
“Performance is something I can control and I will. All I can do is wait for my chance. I like to play all formats. As long as I play the game, I stay a student of the game, because there is no end of what you can learn. But if and when I get the chance, only I can change the perception, “said the affable man from Rajkot.
Other years at IPL, Pujara in England plays county cricket for Derbyshire, Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire, which was not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Isn’t it frustrating that when all his Indian friends go to play matches (in IPL) he can only have net sessions with no clarity on domestic cricket?
“Disappointed, yes, but frustrating, no. I haven’t been able to go to the UK, not because I didn’t want to play or because they didn’t want me, but because of the situation which is the same for all cricketers.”
“I need to understand these are difficult times. It’s more important to be with family and stay safe and not worry too much about not getting too much competition training. There are people who have been through a lot more difficulties,” he said.
Satisfaction is the key to living a good life and the 32-year-old with 77 test matches and nearly 6,000 runs (5840 with 18 hundreds) understands that.
“I wouldn’t say I feel like I don’t have this or that I don’t. I’m happy with what I have,” he said.
“Whether it’s Indian Oil in cricket in the office or playing for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy, my bet is always more than 100 percent. My commitment is to the game and staying true,” said Pujara.
“I have won competitions for India.”
“There’s nothing like the feeling when you win games for India with millions supporting you. I know that feeling and you can’t beat it,” he concluded.
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