India news October 24, 2011

I am ready for competitive cricket - Pujara

ESPNcricinfo staff
26

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 Rediff.com. "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

  • A.Ak 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.

  • shrastogi 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_INDIA 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...

  • on October 25, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    @Mr.Cool

    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

  • akashchandran 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.

  • krnataraj 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.

  • mrcool 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.

  • 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

  • anver777 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 !!!!!

  • uglyhunK 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.

  • A.Ak 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.

  • shrastogi 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_INDIA 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...

  • on October 25, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    @Mr.Cool

    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

  • akashchandran 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.

  • krnataraj 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.

  • mrcool 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.

  • 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

  • anver777 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 !!!!!

  • uglyhunK 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.

  • Naresh28 on October 25, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Its good that there is competition for spots amongst - Pujara, Rohit, Kohli,Rahane. Its a matter of finding a good balance. These guys will definetly step into - Dravid,laxman and Tendulkar shoes. I feel they have time on their side. I feel the Australia series will be the last we may see of the big three. Raina and Yuvraj still ooze with talent - they may not look like they belong to test cricket, but they can make it with a change of attitude. Gambhir is our future captain. All in all they there is a need to define these individuals and guide them to particular formats. I also feel that Rohit Sharma could be India's next "Sachin" and could make it real big.

  • ListenToMe on October 25, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    @fearless69, what Cummins_Hazlewood said is correct in my opinion. You can look at the profiles of both Yuvi and Raina and compare with Pujara. You know how capable he is. Yet he is not even given a chance in ODIs. Or compare these players with Rohit Sharma, Manoj Thiwari or Ajinkya Rahane, you will agree that Yuvi and Raina don't deserve a chance in test aquad.

  • Rahul_78 on October 25, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    Pujara is a unfortunate casualty of IPL. Earlier he was badly injured while playing for KKR which delayed his Indian debut and then after breaking into the team he got knee injury playing for RCB. Pujara is made to play test cricket. He has got a good technic and has scored mountain of runs in domestic cricket and has appetite for big hundreds. Some time young batsmen need to choose wisely. Only if he would have kept himself fit he would have had 3 tests in West Indies and 4 in England to cement his place. Anyways..wish him good luck and injury free career from hence forth.

  • nikkam on October 25, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    good news...rohit and pujara can form a solid middle order pair for tests for india as they are technically correct and are ideal replacements for dravid and laxman....kohli needs to do a little bit in this area...however he has the temperament to succeed at that level...as sachin retires, he might be ready...gambhir and shewag, with mukund and rahane as the reserves will cover the opening slot...the sixth batsman, who is so imporant when top order collapses is the area in which options are of lesser quality...raina, yuvraj lack the temperament...can jadeja be a possbile candidate with his allround abilities??...with yusuf pathan as reserve...only time will tell

  • RogerC on October 25, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    Every now and then people have a go at Raina. They don't realise that he is an aggressive, risk taking batsman. Every one can't be like Dravid. A team needs Sehwags too. Raina does it and offers a great variety to the team. Plus he is the best fielder in India. If Pujara comes in, he needs to replace tired legs of Dravid, Laxman or Tendulkar, not Raina.

  • fearless69 on October 25, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    @Cummins_Hazlewood, Dude pujara injured his knee, read the article properly first.. Once he get fit & plays competitive cricket, he'll get his place in test 11..

  • annys on October 25, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    sehwag,gauti,dravid,sachin,laxman,pujara,dhoni,bhajji,zaheer,ishanth,praveen is the main eleven for australia

    backup

    rahane,mukund,kohli,rohit,raina,yuvi,parthiv,aswin,vinay,mithun,aaron,umesh

  • bang_on_target on October 25, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    pujara,rahane,kolhi and rohit sharma are the 4 most promising test class young batsmen.....they should replace sachin,dravid,laxman in future..... the likes of murai vijay,shikhar dhawan and mukund lack the technique and temperament to be be successful in test ckt...best of luck to the 4 most promising test batsmen of india...

  • muthuthewaves on October 25, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    @sunny sandhu who are u to choose lol. Its gonna be selection committe decidin. Neither u nor me gonna do tat. Pujara is an attackin player in test level. Everyone saw his talent on his debut how he tackled mighty aussies. Hope he shud carry on the same. Wishes fr the young man!!

  • maddinson on October 25, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    as a neutral I can't believe how some one like Raina and Yuvraj get so many opportunity at test arena when u people have Pujara and Sharma

  • Daveptee on October 25, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    The problem is that we get carried away by the one-day performances of players who are then found wanting at the test level.Raina,Kohli,Rohit,Yuvraj may be one day and T20 superstars but they are found wanting at the test level. These guys will struggle to get into the Bangladesh test team but at the same time,at least Raina,Kohli and Yuvraj can walk into any one-day side ! Think of it,Yuvraj,the MOS in WC and a world class limited overs player,is yet to establish himself as a test player even at the age of 30.

    The only one who has the technique amd temperament to succeed at the test level is Pujara.

    As for Rahane,lets reserve our judgement until we see him play tests

  • hiteshsjoshi on October 24, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    England series was a great chance to prove his technique. Alas, he missed it due to unfortunate circumstances. Now, it would be tough for Pujara to get in the XI. Hope he gets runs in the domestic cricket, as he has been doing it in the past. He is great prospect.

  • Meety on October 24, 2011, 23:29 GMT

    @NRI/Sunny Sandhu - no way, this kid is the best of your talent. ODIs disguise this, he is a mix of Dravid & Laxman, your other talented batsmen have flaws that will be exposed at International level - particularly in Tests & abroad. Pujara, looks to me, the young talent most likely to succeed against good pace bowling, & looked comfortable against spin. I think he is Dravid's heir apparent.

  • NRI- on October 24, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Sorry, Pujara, guys like Rohit Sharma, Rahane and Kohli have excelled, Rohit even in overseas conditions against Fidel Edwards & Rampaul. Rahane can be a back-up opener for Australia as can be Mukund. There is no place for you, Mr Pujara but you are definitely ahead of the Rainas, Vijays and Yuvrajs of the world once the big three of the middle order retire.

  • on October 24, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    But we are not ready for you..lol

    Pujara was impressive on debut but after that he failed to make a mark..i will choose rahane at pujara's place

  • dhoni_sachin_fan on October 24, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    good to see he is back. but he better get some ranji matches before getting back to intl cricket. would be good to see rahane get a nod for the aus series. raina and yuvi have proved time and again they are not test match material. rahane would fit into the no.6 slot. mukund will be a natural choice for the back up opener. the rest of the squad for batting is an automatic choice.

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  • dhoni_sachin_fan on October 24, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    good to see he is back. but he better get some ranji matches before getting back to intl cricket. would be good to see rahane get a nod for the aus series. raina and yuvi have proved time and again they are not test match material. rahane would fit into the no.6 slot. mukund will be a natural choice for the back up opener. the rest of the squad for batting is an automatic choice.

  • on October 24, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    But we are not ready for you..lol

    Pujara was impressive on debut but after that he failed to make a mark..i will choose rahane at pujara's place

  • NRI- on October 24, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Sorry, Pujara, guys like Rohit Sharma, Rahane and Kohli have excelled, Rohit even in overseas conditions against Fidel Edwards & Rampaul. Rahane can be a back-up opener for Australia as can be Mukund. There is no place for you, Mr Pujara but you are definitely ahead of the Rainas, Vijays and Yuvrajs of the world once the big three of the middle order retire.

  • Meety on October 24, 2011, 23:29 GMT

    @NRI/Sunny Sandhu - no way, this kid is the best of your talent. ODIs disguise this, he is a mix of Dravid & Laxman, your other talented batsmen have flaws that will be exposed at International level - particularly in Tests & abroad. Pujara, looks to me, the young talent most likely to succeed against good pace bowling, & looked comfortable against spin. I think he is Dravid's heir apparent.

  • hiteshsjoshi on October 24, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    England series was a great chance to prove his technique. Alas, he missed it due to unfortunate circumstances. Now, it would be tough for Pujara to get in the XI. Hope he gets runs in the domestic cricket, as he has been doing it in the past. He is great prospect.

  • Daveptee on October 25, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    The problem is that we get carried away by the one-day performances of players who are then found wanting at the test level.Raina,Kohli,Rohit,Yuvraj may be one day and T20 superstars but they are found wanting at the test level. These guys will struggle to get into the Bangladesh test team but at the same time,at least Raina,Kohli and Yuvraj can walk into any one-day side ! Think of it,Yuvraj,the MOS in WC and a world class limited overs player,is yet to establish himself as a test player even at the age of 30.

    The only one who has the technique amd temperament to succeed at the test level is Pujara.

    As for Rahane,lets reserve our judgement until we see him play tests

  • maddinson on October 25, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    as a neutral I can't believe how some one like Raina and Yuvraj get so many opportunity at test arena when u people have Pujara and Sharma

  • muthuthewaves on October 25, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    @sunny sandhu who are u to choose lol. Its gonna be selection committe decidin. Neither u nor me gonna do tat. Pujara is an attackin player in test level. Everyone saw his talent on his debut how he tackled mighty aussies. Hope he shud carry on the same. Wishes fr the young man!!

  • bang_on_target on October 25, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    pujara,rahane,kolhi and rohit sharma are the 4 most promising test class young batsmen.....they should replace sachin,dravid,laxman in future..... the likes of murai vijay,shikhar dhawan and mukund lack the technique and temperament to be be successful in test ckt...best of luck to the 4 most promising test batsmen of india...

  • annys on October 25, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    sehwag,gauti,dravid,sachin,laxman,pujara,dhoni,bhajji,zaheer,ishanth,praveen is the main eleven for australia

    backup

    rahane,mukund,kohli,rohit,raina,yuvi,parthiv,aswin,vinay,mithun,aaron,umesh