Cheteshwar Pujara: 'If there are no Test matches, all I can do is wait'

Cheteshwar Pujara has been dubbed a Test specialist for many years now; he has played five ODIs for India, the last one against Bangladesh five years ago.

Cheteshwar Pujara is confident of doing well in white ball cricket.   -  Vijay Soneji

Cheteshwar Pujara is keen and eager to play short formats of the game and excel in them too.

The Saurashtra batsman has been dubbed a Test specialist for many years now; he has played five ODIs for India, the last one against Bangladesh five years ago.

A few hours before the CEAT Cricket Ratings Award on Monday, Pujara, while answering a question on if he was itching to play ODI cricket, said, “Yes, I am. One-day cricket is something I always look forward to.

Not just ODIs, but also Twenty20. Recently I scored a hundred in a domestic T20 tournament. I am looking forward to play white ball cricket. I hope I will get opportunities soon. I am improving and prepared. I am confident of doing well in white ball cricket. “

When asked if there is scope for a batsman like him in ODI cricket, and if he could have been part of the Indian team, Pujara said, “Even if you look at some ODI cricketers who have been performing consistently, their style of play is not just to slog.

They rotate the strike, hit a boundary shot in between and that’s how one builds the team’s total. You need one batsman who can stabilise the innings, especially in overseas conditions.”

Pujara is far from disappointed in not getting chances for the short versions of the game.

“It’s not a thing that I can control. If I was part of the World Cup team, it would have been a proud moment. I am trying to work on my game.

My performance in domestic tournaments is good. Last year I played one day matches for my County team. I did exceptionally well. But it’s all about what the team wants and where I fit in.”

Pujara is happy with the fast bowling potential of the Indian team.

“We have Bumrah, Shami and Bhuvi with Hardik as the fourth. In Test cricket in England, the conditions will help the ball move around, but for white ball cricket, the pitch may be flat. It is difficult to predict anything for the World Cup. Once the team reaches England, it would be able to assess things. “

Last year was quite hectic for the Indian team playing Test series in South Africa , England and Australia, and Pujara was part of all three.

How tough is it for him to be away from the scene of action with him not active in IPL and other short format tournaments.

“You have to keep playing the game, but sometimes it’s important to take a break. I have played some matches in the Chennai league (for Take Solutions) and was to play in County cricket. I have been training and practising and trying to find the right balance.

Before the IPL, there was an off season in cricket, there is nothing wrong with that. If there are no Test matches, all I can do is wait. I have played the Ranji Trophy, but even the domestic season is over.”

Pujara said he is available for a particular time frame for the County Championship and that he will be playing the Saurashtra Premier League from Tuesday.