Indian cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara spoke about his hunger for runs and penchant for scoring big, which made him a regular in the Indian Test set-up, during a conversation with WV Raman in his weekly show Wednesdays with WV on Sportstar.
India’s eighth-highest run-getter In Tests with more than 7,000 runs, Pujara has been the backbone of the Indian middle order in the longest format.
Although the Saurashtra batter finds himself out of the senior team, the 35-year-old continues his hard grind in England, representing Sussex in the County Championship.
“When I was playing junior cricket, I didn’t get picked for the U-15 and U-17 teams, although I had scored a lot of runs in age group cricket. For some reason, I didn’t get picked for the Indian team. I thought these runs weren’t enough and that I needed to score more runs, so I started scoring big runs in U-19s, got picked, and then it became a habit,” Pujara explained when asked about his desire to score big runs when he was younger.
“I had a good time making my debut for the Saurashtra team in 2006. I scored runs in my debut game, and it continued, and I began scoring runs even in the Ranji Trophy,” he added.
A star-studded Indian lineup did not make life easier for the youngster back then.
“I was a decent scorer for one or two seasons, but those runs were not enough because we had a great team with the likes of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag... Rahul (Dravid) bhai used to bat at number three, Sachin Paaji (Tendulkar) at number four, and VVS Laxman at number five. So, there was no way for me to get into that team,” said Pujara.
“But the only thing I could have done was be a part of that squad... I told myself that if I’m only scoring six or seven hundred runs in a season, that’s not good enough. Maybe I need to score more, and that’s how I started scoring big double hundreds and triple hundreds,” he concluded.
Watch the full interview here:
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