County news August 23, 2014

Derbyshire win race for Pujara

ESPNcricinfo staff
43

Derbyshire have agreed terms with Cheteshwar Pujara that will see the Indian Test batsman further his education in English conditions by playing the last three Championship fixtures of the season. Pujara's signing remains subject to final approval from the BCCI and successful registration.

Pujara has already returned to India after the Test series while awaiting the prospect of a few late-season matches. Derbyshire's announcement will frustrate Leicestershire, the Second Division's bottom club, who had been fancied to win his signature.

Marcus North, the former Australia batsman, will remain with Derbyshire and play in the List A competition, while Pujara will play in the four remaining four-day first-class games that Derbyshire have this season. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the club's overseas player in the first part of the season, has returned to the West Indies for the Test series against Bangladesh.

Pujara already has happy memories of the Derby ground. He made 81 against Derbyshire in July during a three-day tour match. He would have little clue of the problems which would follow as he hit 222 runs with a highest score of 55 in a five-Test series taken 3-1 by England.

Graeme Welch, Derbyshire's elite performance director, said: "We're an ambitious team and have an exciting group of players who are developing fast. Pujara joining us at this stage of the season is a real boost for the lads and the remaining Championship matches we have ahead of us will give him exactly the experience he is looking for.

"With Shiv now back in West Indies preparing for Test match action and Marcus North focusing on our one-day campaign, Pujara will bring an added dimension to the side as we look to finish our Championship season strongly."

Derbyshire, in their first season under Welch, have not lived up to ambitions so far, struggling to put together impressive form after their relegation last year.

Derbyshire's chief executive, Simon Storey said: "We've been focused on delivering a long-term legacy from the visit of the Indian tourist side to Derby in July, including the creation of our Cricket Derbyshire India Club. We hope the opportunity to see Pujara play county cricket for Derbyshire will inspire cricket followers across the City and the wider county and open up the Club to a new generation of fans."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 26, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    better late than never...he seems to realise his inadequacies against the swinging balls and just short pitched speedster deliveries....let him turn out to be a better player in the coming years...

  • A.Ak on August 26, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    Great move by Pujara, particularly early in his career. Playing in English conditions will help him a lot.

  • indianzen on August 25, 2014, 22:59 GMT

    I would love to see Vijay in Leics and Kohli in Warwickshire competing against each other...

  • on August 25, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    good Derbyshire's chief executive, Simon Storey said: "We've been focused on delivering a long-term legacy from the visit of the Indian tourist side to Derby in July, including the creation of our Cricket Derbyshire India Club. We hope the opportunity to see Pujara play county cricket for Derbyshire will inspire cricket followers across the City and the wider county and open up the Club to a new generation of fans."

  • TRAM on August 25, 2014, 1:15 GMT

    @Assertive-India, you are correct. Eng batsmen did that (standing few feet outside the crease) against Bhuvi as well to counter his swing. The counter to that counter is Dhoni should have stood up for Bhuvi, but he didn't do it for most times. And we saw the results. And the India batsmen could not even copy what the Eng batsmen did against swing. A captain and the bunch of players who dont want to improve nor want to fight!

  • on August 24, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    oh boy !!!!!!!!

    race for an out of form pujara...

    good for pujara though facing 78 mph bowlers .He will score big.

  • on August 24, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    Race? Was there a deadline?

  • on August 24, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    not only batsmens even our bowlers shd go and play county cricket

  • on August 24, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    One wouldnt lose sleep facing bowlers from glamorgan leicster or gloucester or even batting on those strips.Well if he fails in that then..... Its a tricky to sign up when you just being hammered and then to sign in weak competition with just 4 games to play.Only two outcomes are possible none of which are good in long run, One he gets false sense of security if he gets runs, two he fails and probably would have dented the confidence to a degree he goes searching for demons when there arent any.Best is to return to Rajkot rack up runs,, tinkertechnique little bit in familiar conditions and try and come out on top.

  • whatawicket on August 24, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    well its about time that the BCCI allowed players to play in English conditions. we have a New Zealand A squad currently playing in England, this from a board who I guess have little money compared to India ,but they know it makes sense.

  • on August 26, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    better late than never...he seems to realise his inadequacies against the swinging balls and just short pitched speedster deliveries....let him turn out to be a better player in the coming years...

  • A.Ak on August 26, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    Great move by Pujara, particularly early in his career. Playing in English conditions will help him a lot.

  • indianzen on August 25, 2014, 22:59 GMT

    I would love to see Vijay in Leics and Kohli in Warwickshire competing against each other...

  • on August 25, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    good Derbyshire's chief executive, Simon Storey said: "We've been focused on delivering a long-term legacy from the visit of the Indian tourist side to Derby in July, including the creation of our Cricket Derbyshire India Club. We hope the opportunity to see Pujara play county cricket for Derbyshire will inspire cricket followers across the City and the wider county and open up the Club to a new generation of fans."

  • TRAM on August 25, 2014, 1:15 GMT

    @Assertive-India, you are correct. Eng batsmen did that (standing few feet outside the crease) against Bhuvi as well to counter his swing. The counter to that counter is Dhoni should have stood up for Bhuvi, but he didn't do it for most times. And we saw the results. And the India batsmen could not even copy what the Eng batsmen did against swing. A captain and the bunch of players who dont want to improve nor want to fight!

  • on August 24, 2014, 22:27 GMT

    oh boy !!!!!!!!

    race for an out of form pujara...

    good for pujara though facing 78 mph bowlers .He will score big.

  • on August 24, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    Race? Was there a deadline?

  • on August 24, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    not only batsmens even our bowlers shd go and play county cricket

  • on August 24, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    One wouldnt lose sleep facing bowlers from glamorgan leicster or gloucester or even batting on those strips.Well if he fails in that then..... Its a tricky to sign up when you just being hammered and then to sign in weak competition with just 4 games to play.Only two outcomes are possible none of which are good in long run, One he gets false sense of security if he gets runs, two he fails and probably would have dented the confidence to a degree he goes searching for demons when there arent any.Best is to return to Rajkot rack up runs,, tinkertechnique little bit in familiar conditions and try and come out on top.

  • whatawicket on August 24, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    well its about time that the BCCI allowed players to play in English conditions. we have a New Zealand A squad currently playing in England, this from a board who I guess have little money compared to India ,but they know it makes sense.

  • George_Leeds on August 24, 2014, 16:03 GMT

    As a Lancashire fan I am very envious of this signing. We have Khawaja at 3 and he has been very underwhelming so far.

  • Surajrises on August 24, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    Well it is a good move but I still remember Ravi Shastri, Wasim Akram & Dada saying clearly at the end of the Test Series that you have to play an entire season if you have to become a WORLD CLASS PLAYER and I totally agree with them. Pujara has joined Derby almost at the end of the season! The reason those greats spoke about playing an entire season is because UK weather is unpredictable and a batsman in summer too can't expect that the pitch will remain dry because of the rains! So he ends up playing on a Damp or a Seaming wicket which was supposed to be flat and that would make him ready to play in any given condition without worrying. Well at least there is an attempt by some Indian player so I am happy about it but a long long way to go. Just by playing 3-4 matches wouldn't make him a World Class Player. He needs to understand that he is not a T20 Player and he will need to let that format go.

  • Charlie101 on August 24, 2014, 15:36 GMT

    I think it shows his determination and quality as a man and a cricketer to improve on his technique and skills as a batsman. He knows he has had a poor series and I guess wants to improve before he reaches Australia . Wouldn't be great if 4 county games helped him so much he turned into a run machine in Australia and put Mitch to the sword !!!

  • on August 24, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Man I was hoping that Hampshire will bid for him. Anyway good luck to Pujara

  • on August 24, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    I can see that there are advantages to that Peakfan, and I did say in my post if it leads to a longer contract next year it's a good thing.

    Against that those positives are the cost and the lack of game experiences for players like Hughes, Knight and Slater who could be assessed in the remaining games (as other teams Derbyshire play do have something to play for, they're not meaningless for the other side).

    There's also the cost, where that money could be better used maybe building next years squad or bringing in a loan for the Royal London cup QF.

  • Peakfan on August 24, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    Building relationships Robert...both in India and with the local ethnic community. He is a star of the national side and while the season is a quest for top half placings only, who is to say that it might not lead to something - with Pujara or another player in the future?

    His involvement will be good for a raft of young players too. If India is ever to be serious about being a Test power, they need to allow players of talent to play in England and get used to a moving ball.

    It is not just about standing outside your crease, but playing later, playing straight and occupying the crease. T20 has killed Indian batting as the last Test showed - all out in 29 overs was a shambles.

    Good luck to Pujara - I hope his initiative is both rewarded and emulated!

  • on August 24, 2014, 13:08 GMT

    I really don't see what Derbyshire get out of this. They have 4 matches left and will not be promoted in that time. The only way this makes any sense for Derbyshire is if they have first refusal on a contract for him in the future.

  • riverlime on August 24, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    Well done Pujara. He REALLY wants that opener's spot. And is taking the steps to get it.

  • Cricfever_PM on August 24, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    4 first class match for 2nd division county team i don't think he would be facing the fine bowlers but it's better then doing nothing.

    The Indian fans must understand one thing that Aus, SA 1st class matches are happening during Indian Ranji tournament which means our players can't play other domestic tournament when our first class match happening.

    By the by players own technique more important then playing few county matches, Sachin played only one season for Yorkshire in 1992 but he was unbeatable for 20 years so don't say county experience helped him to become finest player. It's our willpower which decides everything not county cricket. I agree few players have gained experience playing county but it's our own technique which more important.

  • Assertive-Indian on August 24, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    The technique to play against moving ball is very simple, which many Aus batsmen have also adopted. Stand 1 yard outside of your batting crease. Of course, you have to be careful with the close-in fielders, because they can run you out if the ball goes straight to them. But this is one sure way of nullifying excessive swing, and also of taking lbw out of the equation.

  • Assertive-Indian on August 24, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    Derbyshire must be truly desperate to have a proven failure (in English conditions) in their midst! I hope that they didn't pay too much for him...

  • shrastogi on August 24, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    Pujara has been more or less branded as test cricketer and therefore he should be best in that. He wouldnt get best of county bowlers as Derbyshire plays in Div 2 but still it should make him a better test cricketer. I think the problem with him is not the moving ball so much as he was in to bat early as India lost opener early in last two test, before that he also gave away his wicket to Moeen Ali. One has to see how he would have fared if openers had seen off the new ball. But still as much was expected of him the string of low scores wouldnt have helped his confidence. He also didnt do well in NZ. So for Australian test he must play as much as he can and for that this county stint should be helpful.

  • on August 24, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    And so this is commendable that Che is trying to get some county experience. If he regrets the inexperience and is taking the initiative, then good. But why now? The very important once in a lifetime 5 test series is over. If anything, he should have done it in 2013, 14. The next England trip isn't until 2018, so what gives. Better off getting some Sheffield shield experience over the next couple of years. Too little too late / Better late than never. You pick.

  • FiGhtCluB_99 on August 24, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    Well, Gambhir played a few County matches last year, but his Test performance showed no improvement (average of ~6 in the recent Test series).

  • pratit on August 24, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    Pujara is the only guy who cares. You can see that from his attitude. Our bowlers also need a season in the counties, going by Zaheer's experience.

  • Lmaotsetung on August 24, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    Won't matter. He'll be facing 2nd div bowlers. We've saw how that worked out for Gambir with Essex last year.

  • on August 24, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    I think Umesh Yadav ,Varun Aaron , Shami and Ishwar Pandey should all play county cricket/sheffield shield . Zaheer Khan become a complete bowler after his County stink. Even batsmen like Rohit and Rahane and upcoming sanju sampson should play county cricket. I am not against IPL as it enables a lot of domestic players to earn good money but it should be curtailed in duration to let these guys play or they should be compensated by BCCI for not playing. It was humiliating to see India lose badly but I still believe in this team, we need a different approach with a new coach and captain.

  • on August 24, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    Shows Pujara's commitment.

  • HarshaSachinFan on August 24, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    I definitely feel BCCI is wasting precious Indian talent by not allowing them to play in foreign T20 leagues. Players like Yuvraj, Zaheer, Harbhajan, Raina, Sehwag are all sitting idle during the off season. BCCI must put efforts to utilise these players

  • on August 24, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    Why only English county, Indian players should be allowed to play in the domestic cricket of Australia and SA too. Plus, more importantly, the likes of MSD, Kohli, Pujara, Rohit Sharma, etc should also as many Ranji matches as their schedule allows them. This will not only bring in more crowds to Ranji matches, but will also help them get used to the longer version of the game. There should also be a restriction by the board on test/odi regulars about the no. of IPL matches that they can play. For eg., it can be restricted to say about 25 matches.

  • bdshah on August 24, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    T20 may sound like a bad word but I recommend that Indian players should be allowed to play in the T20 leagues of other countries. This is a good way that they will get accustomed to foreign pitches (Aus, Eng, WI, SA). Ofcourse county is always welcome. Thoughts?

  • on August 24, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    bowlers like Ishant should take a step ahead and work with county teams. which will be beneficial for india's overseas performances like zak did.

  • dhoni_sachin_fan on August 24, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    Wouls have like Vijay, Naman Ojha, Pandey etc who are not part of the ODI side to play the county as well... Missed opportunity

  • on August 24, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    not only our batsmen our bowlers shd also have a stint wit county

  • on August 24, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    MSD should learn from Pujara. Pujara is trying to improve his game in England and Dhoni is saying "Don't be jealous of IPL"

  • on August 24, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    BCCI should encourage players to play English conditions rather simply restricting them to play just Asian conditions which will be of no use for the players to shine outside Asia. Pujara should make use of this opportunity to learn more about shot selections and defence. We should also put kohli and other young players to play more English county matches, because playing Indian domestic leads them nowhere in International.

  • on August 24, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    Not oly pujara ,fast bowlers like ishwar pandey ,varun aaron and ishanth sharma who is not in ODI side should play county cricket. Manoj tiwary and baba aparjith,jiwanjoth singh must also play county cricket. Manoj tiwary averages close to 60 in domestic cricket and he is a good test player ,he must play county cricket along jiwanjoth singh who is a very good opener also. Abhinav mukund should also play lot of county cricket.Its time that we groom openers for test cricket and not solely depend on gambir. India must atleast have always two back up openers.

  • mensan on August 24, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    Indian batsmen should play in county instead of IPL.

  • DevendraSudama on August 24, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    This will be great for Pujara... will come back strong... I hope that other Indian test batsman follow in his footsteps. This will benefit them immensely. You go, Pujara!

  • jango_moh on August 24, 2014, 2:15 GMT

    why is the bcci not encouraging players to play county seasons??? dravid, ganguly and other former indians improved a great deal after their county stints.... zaheer turned into the skillful bowler he became after his county stint....

  • on August 24, 2014, 2:07 GMT

    Don't think just 4 game at the end of season on tired pitches will do any good for him. Better, instead of obliging for his IPL commitment, he comes back next year for them to play on early season pitches.

  • BUCG on August 23, 2014, 22:05 GMT

    Hope he betters himself there!

  • AvidCricFan on August 23, 2014, 21:54 GMT

    At least, Pujara is showing some commitment to improve his game. He needs to play a full season in England.

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  • AvidCricFan on August 23, 2014, 21:54 GMT

    At least, Pujara is showing some commitment to improve his game. He needs to play a full season in England.

  • BUCG on August 23, 2014, 22:05 GMT

    Hope he betters himself there!

  • on August 24, 2014, 2:07 GMT

    Don't think just 4 game at the end of season on tired pitches will do any good for him. Better, instead of obliging for his IPL commitment, he comes back next year for them to play on early season pitches.

  • jango_moh on August 24, 2014, 2:15 GMT

    why is the bcci not encouraging players to play county seasons??? dravid, ganguly and other former indians improved a great deal after their county stints.... zaheer turned into the skillful bowler he became after his county stint....

  • DevendraSudama on August 24, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    This will be great for Pujara... will come back strong... I hope that other Indian test batsman follow in his footsteps. This will benefit them immensely. You go, Pujara!

  • mensan on August 24, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    Indian batsmen should play in county instead of IPL.

  • on August 24, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    Not oly pujara ,fast bowlers like ishwar pandey ,varun aaron and ishanth sharma who is not in ODI side should play county cricket. Manoj tiwary and baba aparjith,jiwanjoth singh must also play county cricket. Manoj tiwary averages close to 60 in domestic cricket and he is a good test player ,he must play county cricket along jiwanjoth singh who is a very good opener also. Abhinav mukund should also play lot of county cricket.Its time that we groom openers for test cricket and not solely depend on gambir. India must atleast have always two back up openers.

  • on August 24, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    BCCI should encourage players to play English conditions rather simply restricting them to play just Asian conditions which will be of no use for the players to shine outside Asia. Pujara should make use of this opportunity to learn more about shot selections and defence. We should also put kohli and other young players to play more English county matches, because playing Indian domestic leads them nowhere in International.

  • on August 24, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    MSD should learn from Pujara. Pujara is trying to improve his game in England and Dhoni is saying "Don't be jealous of IPL"

  • on August 24, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    not only our batsmen our bowlers shd also have a stint wit county