India news October 24, 2011

I am ready for competitive cricket - Pujara

ESPNcricinfo staff

Cheteshwar Pujara, the 23-year-old batsman who underwent knee injury in July, has said he has sufficiently recovered to return to competitive cricket. He is targeting a return to international cricket on India's tour of Australia in December this year.

"I'm quite fit now, I've been practising regularly," Pujara told "I run well and I've no difficulty whatsoever with any of my body movements. I may not play the first couple of Ranji Trophy games [the tournament begins on November 3], but I'm ready for competitive cricket now.

"I'm keen, even determined, to get back on track again. I know I've to prove my fitness and then to score runs, as in the past. But I see no problem doing both once I start playing cricket. I'm sure of regaining my place in Team India and confident of making it to the Australia tour."

Pujara injured his knee in May while fielding for Royal Challengers Bangalore during the 2011 IPL and had been out of cricket since. During his rehabilitation period after surgery, he had trained under physio Nitin Patel at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. The surgery stalled his bid to secure a spot in India's Test XI. He had delivered on Test debut against Australia in Bangalore last October, hitting 72 to help India chase down 207 and seal the series 2-0. In the process, he became only the fifth Indian to score a half-century or more in the fourth innings on debut.

Pujara is known for his solid, classical technique, and the praise he received as a result had been a motivator, he said. "I feel encouraged when truly great cricketers like Gundappa Viswanath appreciate my technique and performance. This is a big motivation for me. I'm determined to make a comeback."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Arul on October 26, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    Just now ready for competitive cricket and ready for Aussie tour in 1 month time ? Good luck. Selectors might look at Kholi, Badrinath and Rahane and give test spots, may not be Pujara yet. Rahane got much better record and Kholi is far better confident player. Yuvi and Raina, they are quick guns and not good for test matches.

  • Shantanu on October 26, 2011, 1:49 GMT

    Pujara would have to play domestic games to show how match fit he is. You can not straight away land in Australia and do well as in SA he didnt have a good time.He is not the only one as even Zaheer Khan would have to show match fitness. Indian batting line up of Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman has place only for a new batsman and that could be anyone who plays fast bowling well.

  • Pankaj on October 25, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    yuvraj shouldn't be picked.. he has been given enough chances. Rahane and Pujara ought to be replacements for anyone injured.. raina too shouldn't be considered henceforth, enough of him too... after the above mentioned 2, kohli should be groomed...

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2011, 15:15 GMT


    Please check Rahane's domestic record. And failed most of the times?! When?! He has played very well in 4-5 ODIs and the T20 which aren't even his strengths.. His strength lies in the true format of the game.. Pujara and Rahane both are the future batting mighties of Indian cricket

  • akash on October 25, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    It is good that Pujara has set himself the Australian tour as the target. Right now Yuvraj(depending on fitness), Badrinath, Rahane and Kohli are the likely players to be considered for selection for the WI series. If Pujara can do what he used to do in the previous years of domestic cricket immediately, then he can also be one of the claimants for the flight ticket to Australia.

  • Koduvayur on October 25, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    tejeshwar pujara does he have a godfather in the selection panel??? if not it is going to be tough to reclaim his lost place. anyday pujara is more technically better than the likes of rohit sharma, ajinkya rahane and for that matter suresh raina. wish good sense prevails with the selectors when they select the team for the west indies series and the australia series.

  • sudhakar on October 25, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    many of you are mentioning here name of rahane.Apart from one match he failed most of the times.Mukund also fail in chances he got whereas pujara got success so h should be preferred over these two players.

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    Pujara has first-class average of 55.81 from 56 matches with 14 hundreds, 15 fifties and a top score of 302* while on Domestic One-dayers, he has an average of 53.28 from 50 matches with 6 centuries and 13 half centuries, and a top score of 122*. Clearly he is a strong player in the longer formats, particularly favoring the test format. Injuries may have hindered his current chances, but he certainly is a strong contender for the test spots for the Aus tour. Maybe a run in the tests for upcoming tour of WI tour would give him a chance to play.

    Sehwag, Sachin, Rohit Sharma & Yuvraj nursing injuries. Raina struggling in Tests- Pujara, Badrinath, Kohli are likely to compete for the middle order while Mukund may be the third opener( Gambhir and Rahane are sure bets to open in the absence of Sehwag).

    WI Test Squad: Rahane, Gambhir, Dravid, Pujara / Kohli, Laxman, Pujara / Badrinath / Kohli, Dhoni, Ashwin / Harbhajan, Praveen Kumar, 2 from Varun Aaron / Vinay Kumar / Mithun /Sreesh, ojha

  • Anver on October 25, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    At present Pujara has to fight really hard to regain his place in Ind team.........Ind has lots of talented reserve players who had represented in international level & i wonder they can even build another strong XI. May Pujara's hardwork will pay off & wish him good luck !!!!!

  • Raja on October 25, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    Pujare should be realistic. He can't possibly be selected for Australia tour based on his one test innings almost 18 month ago. Rahane looks a better Test player at this moment and most importantly, in form.

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