India in Zimbabwe 2013 July 15, 2013

Pujara keen on ODI dash

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Cheteshwar Pujara has said that exposure to the one-day format at the international level would help him change people's perception about him being only a longer-format player. Pujara is part of India's squad that is scheduled to play five ODIs in Zimbabwe starting July 24 and is likely to make his ODI debut during the series.

"I think I have the basics, now it's just about shifting the gears at the right time, and that comes with more matches at the international level," Pujara told the Indian Express. "My technique is correct. Yeah, maybe at times, you need to learn more shots and you need to play according to the situation, but that comes with experience."

Pujara made a seamless entry into Test cricket after years of piling up runs in first-class cricket, and this time, the selectors have also put their faith on his equally impressive List A record and added him to the ODI squad. In 61 List A matches, Pujara has scored 2735 runs at an average of 56.97. He gave a glimpse of his talent during last year's Challenger Trophy, smashing 158*, 124* and 79 at a strike rate of 107. During his Test hundreds against Australia earlier this year, he maintained high strike rates too despite taking time to settle in, an approach, Pujara feels, would help in overseas conditions.

"With the two new balls, it does make a difference, and you have to be technically correct," he said. "If you are playing on a flat wicket, then it's a different story altogether, but when you are playing overseas, you can't play your shots from the beginning, and you need wickets at the end to accelerate. And with the new rules, you have five fielders inside (the circle), so even acceleration becomes easier once the ball is old. But you need to have wickets in hand."

Pujara will also lead the India A side in South Africa after the Zimbabwe tour and he said that the experience during the tour would be key ahead of India's Test tour to South Africa later this year.

"I have been to South Africa. I have played two Test matches, so I have some experience, but the A tour will be very helpful, for me and a few other players who will be part of the Indian team in November-December," he said. "It will really help to score some runs and get some experience in these conditions before the main series."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Occidental_Observer on July 17, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Just as Hamish Amla opens for S. AFRICA, do too can Cheteshwar Pujara for India.

  • dummy4fb on July 17, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    They said the same about Hashim Amla too ... but now he has an average of 55 and strike rate of 90+ .... Pujara's approach to batting is quite similar to Amla's and I am sure he will succeed in ODIs too

  • jainmanu on July 17, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    I really see Pujara as ODI opener for next world cup. I am fed up of the comments here comparing Pujara to Dravid and how Pujara is not fit for ODI as he is slow like Dravid. But, if you see the local ODI record you wil see that Pujara has a very good strike rate and ability to score big scores which is exactly what is needed from an opener.

    Just check out the following link of Batting records of last Challenger Trophy, where Pujara was best batsman in both runs scored and strike rate: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/challenger-trophy-2012/engine/records/batting/most_runs_career.html?id=7516;type=tournament

  • jainmanu on July 17, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    I think Pujara should be tried in opening slot in ODIs as he has good new ball technique and even has good strike rate in last challenger trophy.

    The playing 11 for Zimbabwe ODI series should be: (1) Dhawan (2) Pujara (3) Rohit (4) Kohli (5) Karthik (wk) (6) Raina (7) Rasool (8) Mishra (9) Mohit Sharma (10) Shami Ahmed (11) Unadkat

  • dummy4fb on July 17, 2013, 2:38 GMT

    Rohit's inability to turn 40s and 50s into hundreds means one opener's spot is not sealed but now that he is doing well, he should stay for awhile. Pujara is India's best batsman, and he scores fast already. How can people like Vijay (in & out), Karthik, Raina etc get firm positions when Pujara is not in? Makes no sense. To start with, Pujara can be 4 instead of Raina or Karthik, but we know he is capable of being 3 or an opener too.

  • dummy4fb on July 16, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    Pujara, we all know you are a fine talent. Time to transfer those great Test performances into ODI performances. I feel Pujara will be critical to the Indian side in playing the anchor role.

    Here's my India XI: Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli (c), Pujara, Raina, Karthik (wk), Jadeja, Rasool, V. Kumar, Ahmed, Mohit Sharma.

    I would love to see Rahane get a chance or two, mainly because I feel he should make his Test debut later this year in South Africa, with a first-class average of 60, along with Rohit Sharma.

  • Temuzin on July 16, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    I think Pujara should open with Dhawan. Rohit should be kept as reserve opener in ODIs. Yuvraj Singh should be brought in the playing eleven in place of DK. DK should be in 15 squad as a reserved WK. One more bowler like Bhuvneshwar and team will be complete for WC2015. All other players like rahane, rayaudu and tiwari should be working hard and be ready to take place if some one gets injured. Tiwari should work on his fitness. right now he seems to be made up of candy and stays on the injured list more than he keeps playing on the field.

  • dummy4fb on July 16, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    Asusual again Rohit Sharma is repetedly has been at the center of the comments. Again it is hard to understand why now people keep talking about Rohits opening slot. Is it just to fit Pujara in playing 11? Rohit has done so well in recent 2 important series , one of them is Mini Workd Cup. Still want to critisise Rohit ? Pujara is good batsman no doubt. But there is no point in making mess of winning combination. If Pujara playing in playing 11, he has to play at no 4 after Virat unless some consistant failure take place at top order or any injury. Why to take chance about change in top order ? Why to remove Rohit from opening slot ? Definately Pujara is going play in playing 11 as MSDs spot is empty for him by default. But Pujara should start his ODI cr at no 4 assuming Raina will come at 5. There is no point to change any settled batting order for just Pujara.

  • dummy4fb on July 16, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    @palavadisuresh..Pujara has good strike rate alongwith average,he's not like Rohit or Trott in that matter..also indian middle order is far from setlled,in the WI the indian team struggled all through except one match against WI,so Pujara is indeed needed,look at the final b/w india-SL where india crumbled from 139/3 to 157/7..same thing happened in all the other matches...

  • dummy4fb on July 16, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Very good to see Pujara is included in the Team and I am not sure in what position he will have for his batting. The first three positions (dhawan, rohit sharma and virat kohli) have been sealed already. The only possibility that he could get in is either two down or three down or four down however these positions require acceleration and I am doubtful that Pujara can accelerate the scoring. Therefore, if Pujara is selected then Virat Kohli should come down to two down so that Puraja can come at one down to start steady and consolidate the innings. Otherwise there is no way, Pujara can come in to the team. Since Zimbabwe is not a strong team, Pujara has an excellent opportunity to start steady and consolidate the innings to cement his place in the team. I wish him good luck.