Indian left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha feels that India's Test no.3 Cheteshwar Pujara will not be starting in the Chennai Super Kings's first-choice XI in the upcoming IPL. However, he also termed Pujara a brilliant all-format batsman and labelled the latter's IPL selection an inspiring story.
There was major surprise for one and all when India's Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara was bought by Chennai Super Kings in the IPL mini-auctions, earlier this year. For a long time, Pujara was ignored in the cash-rich league due to his lack of suitability for T20 cricket.
After getting picked, the senior Indian batsman has even made changes to the way he bats as one can see in the training videos, where he was hitting the big shots for fun and getting into the groove with a higher backlift. In fact, he had also announced that he wants to emalute the likes of Virat Kohli and Steven Smith in the format.
“I don't see Pujara in the CSK first-XI, he will be part of the dressing room but I don’t see him in the first XI. Maybe he can be a replacement for somebody later on in the tournament but he won’t start,” Ojha told Sports Today, reported HT.
Ojha also heaped praise on Pujara for being a brilliant batsman and lauded the right-hander's temperament to play the the game but insisted that the 33-year-old falls short in terms of meeting the requirements for T20s.
“Pujara is a brilliant batsman, any format you talk about he has the skill and the temperament to play. He can perform, he's got the ability. But when we talk about T20 cricket, it is far away from Tests. You have to be very fit; the challenges are different on the field. That will be a challenge for Pujara."
Ojha signed off by saying that Pujara's IPL selection is an inspiring tale for young players.
“I'm very happy for him. He's got his chance after 7 years so this itself is an inspirational tale for all the youngsters that you never lose hope, things will change around,” Ojha added.