Champion Indian Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is delighted at the prospect of once again playing under the leadership of MS Dhoni as he gets ready to make his comeback into the IPL after a gap of seven years.
The most surprising moment of the IPL 2021 Auction came when Cheteshwar Pujara found takers in the form of Chennai Super Kings.
Pigeonholed as a Test specialist, Cheteshwar Pujara has failed to attract bidders at the auction table in the past seven years. He last featured in the cash-rich league back in 2014 where he represented Kings XI Punjab. The Indian Test No.3 has also represented franchises like Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the past.
Pujara had listed himself at the base price of Rs 50 Lakh and he was bought for the same amount by CSK amid thunderous applause from those present in the auction room.
In a video posted by the CSK’s Twitter handle, Cheteshwar Pujara expressed his delight at the prospect of once again playing in the IPL. He also added that he is looking forward to once again play under the leadership of MS Dhoni.
Dhoni was the captain of the team when Pujara made his debut way back in 2010.
“It’s great to be back in the IPL. Really looking forward to playing in the yellow jersey. And, I’ll be playing with Dhoni bhai again. He was the captain of the Test team when I made my debut, so, yes I have fond memories of playing under Mahi bhai, and really looking forward to playing with him again” said Cheteshwar Pujara.
Pujara also reckoned that it’s the mindset that once needs to alter while switching from Tests to the T20 format, and is extremely confident that he will make the adjustment and come good for his franchise.
“It’s a change of mindset- switching from Test cricket to the IPL. You need to switch the gears as early as possible. Its the mental aspect which changes quickly, and with good preparation, I am really hopeful I’ll do well in the IPL,” he added.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) February 19, 2021
Speaking of Cheteshwar Pujara’s IPL numbers, the Indian Test No.3 has featured in 30 IPL games that Pujara has played between 2010-14, he has scored 390 runs at an average of 20.53 and a strike-rate of 99.7.
Overall, Cheteshwar Pujara has featured in 64 T20 games, in which he has scored 1356 runs at an average of 29.47 and a strike-rate of 109.35, which includes seven fifties and one hundred.