Kolkata: The tag of a ‘Test specialist’ over the years may have distanced Cheteshwar Pujara from white ball cricket - but the senior Indian batsman insists that there is no love lost between them.
For someone so widely respected for his efforts in the longer format, Pujara had last put on a blue India shirt in 2014 while he has been going unsold in the Indian Premier League auction for the last few seasons. He had, in the past, turned out for three franchises - Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore and has an aggregate of 390 runs from 30 games.
Replying to a Gulf News query during an exclusive interview on the subject, Pujara said he was very much game for the white ball variety. ‘‘See, I still look forward to playing white ball cricket and I do my best in getting better in it. If you look at my records at Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament or one-dayers for my County, I have done well in them.
‘‘What you must remember is that whatever I do in Test cricket is completely different. If I take more number of balls in Tests, that’s the nature of the game where I am supposed to put a price on my wicket. It’s not related to the shorter format at all,’’ said Pujara, who went unsold for the 2020 IPL season as well, alongwith a few marquee names including the England Test captain Joe Root.
Fortunately, Pujara had been sought after by the English Counties to play as their overseas professionals during this phase - having turned out for Derbyshire and Yorkshire so far.