Star Indian player wants to make an IPL comeback ; He last played the IPL in 2014

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Cheteshwar Pujara feels IPL franchises will realise his potential soon

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SportsCafe Desk

03/13/2019

Cheteshwar Pujara is of the belief that the IPL franchises will soon realise his potential in the shortest format of the game. The Saurashtra batsman has added that his peak is yet to come and he wants to play some exceptional knocks in international cricket as he has done in domestic matches.

Pujara was in a sensational form for Saurashtra in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali domestic T20 tournament where he scored an unbeaten 100 against the Railways off just 61 deliveries while opening the innings. He scored 68, 42* and 39* in the next three matches of the tournament against Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Sikkim with impressive strike-rates proving that he can still be a performer in the shortest version of cricket.

The Saurashtra batsman has now come out to say that people have realised that he can be handy in T20 games and hoped that the IPL teams would realise that soon. 

“Sometimes it is difficult to accept things but I am someone who moves on. I am not worried about what people think. However, the perception is changing now. When I started scoring in T20 format, people have started saying that 'he can do it'. I think IPL franchisees will also realise that soon,” Pujara told TOI.

Speaking about his chances in the limited-overs set-up of the national side, Pujara said, “If there is an opportunity (to be part of the limited-overs team) after the WC, I would definitely like to be part of it. Wherever the team wants me to bat, I will be happy to do so.”

Pujara travelled to Chennai to play TNCA first division league game for Mylapore Recreation Club 'A'. He also scored a massive 163 in his maiden appearance in the league which is organised by the state board in Tamil Nadu’s capital city.

“Basically for some match practice and be in touch with the game (I am here). Ashwin said it was an important match for us so I thought I will come. I have been hearing great things about Chennai league from players from Saurashtra and few others. Before an international match or first class season, sometimes you need match practice so this is the right platform for some games. This gives a chance to be in touch with the game, the 31-year-old batsman said.

“I think it is determination and love for the game. It is not easy. It takes toll on my body and mentally as well it is not easy. At the same time, you want to challenge yourself as a cricketer by playing in different conditions.”

Pujara had played an important role in the historic series win in Australia as he scored 521 runs in the four Test matches which included three hundreds. Pujara was adjudged Man of the Series for his batting show in the last Test series that India played. The 31-year-old has stated that he has realised that he is doing well now and personally he gained a lot of confidence after the tour Down Under. However, he is of the opinion that his peak is yet to come. 

“I have been batting well this season. 2018 and 19 has been fantastic especially the Australia series which was very important. Personally I gained a lot of confidence. After that, I have realised my game even better and it was just a matter of time. I have been scoring runs but there was a phase when I didn’t score a lot of runs in Test cricket. But the last two years has been good so far and I will like to continue from where I left. I was playing some matches for Saurashtra in Syed Mushtaq Ali and scored runs there. Things are changing. I am scoring in shorter-format also (smiles),” the Saurashtra batsman explained.

“My peak is yet to come. I am batting well and enjoying my game. But there have been instances where I have played some exceptional innings in domestic cricket and I want to do that in international cricket as well. Australia was one example but going forward I will like to continue to do that wherever we play Test cricket.”

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