Cheteshwar Pujara has been one of India’s leading run-scorers in the Test format in the last couple of years and is known for his consistency. He had a good run in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy where he was the fourth-highest scorer with 271 runs in 4 matches.
He is one of India’s key players when it comes to Test cricket. But when it comes to the limited-overs format, Pujara is not under consideration for Team India.
Therefore it was a bit of a surprise when Chennai Super Kings picked up the batsmen during the IPL 2021 Auctions.
Pujara, who is training with the team in Mumbai, admitted that he is not a power-hitter but said that he hopes to learn from his team-mates Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli on how to adapt according to the match situation in the limited-overs format.
"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. 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," Pujara told ESPNCricinfo.
Need to understand what the bowler is thinking, says Pujara
However, the batsman argued that he has been part of limited-overs teams in domestic cricket in the country and played county cricket, so in that sense he has the experience required to do well in IPL 2021.
"I have played limited-overs cricket in domestic cricket [in India] as well in county cricket. Just by playing those matches you realise what you can do in a particular situation.
“So that is something which can be helpful, because you need to understand what a bowler is trying to do, how the pitch is behaving, and what the shots are that you can play on a particular pitch," Pujara added.