Rated and renowned as a Test specialist, Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara finally managed to secure an IPL contract, six years after playing his last IPL game. Despite compelling Test performances, IPL franchises often overlooked Cheteshwar Pujara due to his lack of power-hitting abilities. But the Saurashtra batsman asserted he keeps learning from players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
While Cheteshwar Pujara has some notable T20 batting performances, the right-handed batsman has not proved himself in his limited opportunities in IPL. In 29 matches, Pujara has 390 runs at 20.53, maintaining a strike rate of 99.74 alongside a half-century. But Chennai Super Kings bought him in the IPL 2021 auction for INR 50 lakhs and the 33-year old is keen to prove himself as an all-format player.
Cheteshwar Pujara accepts that his strike rate is not on the higher side; however, he tries to learn from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. The veteran cricketer believes that while Rohit is not a designated power-hitter, he acknowledged that the Mumbai Indians captain times the ball incredibly well. Pujara also feels that players like Kane Williamson and Steve Smith score through cricketing shots alongside playing innovatively.
“When it comes to strike rate, yes, I agree that I’m not a power-hitter. But at the same time, you learn from players like Virat (Kohli). Rohit (Sharma), he is not purely a power-hitter, but he is one of the best timers of the ball I have seen in the shorter formats. You learn from players like Kane Williamson. Even Steven Smith. All of them score runs by just playing cricketing shots, and at the same time they will be innovative,” Pujara told ESPN Cricinfo.
I also have that mindset, that if I want to be successful: Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara remains confident he has the mindset to be successful by playing cricketing shots and simultaneously being innovative. The Saurashtra batsman acknowledges that batsmen need power in T20 cricket; however, he also stated that cricketing sense is most important.
“I also have that mindset, that if I want to be successful, I also need to be innovative, but at the same time you can still score runs by playing cricket shots. You need to get better at generating power, I won’t deny that, but ultimately cricketing sense is what I feel will be your main strength,” he added.