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Pujara sharpening bowling skills

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 11, 2014

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Cheteshwar Pujara is pushing Suresh Raina for a place in the side for the second Test, Durban, December 23, 2010
Cheteshwar Pujara: 'I want to help my team with part-time bowling if the captain wants me to' © Getty Images
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Cheteshwar Pujara has said he has begun to bowl in the nets so that he can add another aspect to his game. Pujara has increasingly become a popular choice for a batting slot in the Indian ODI side, but the team management has resisted playing him. His only two ODIs have come against Zimbabwe when most of the senior batsmen were resting. The popular dissatisfaction around Pujara's non-inclusion reached a height when former captain Sunil Gavaskar almost alleged "favouritism" when India didn't play Pujara in what was an inconsequential match against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup.

India had already been knocked out after defeats to Sri Lanka and Pakistan. There was similar uproar when Pujara didn't get picked for the New Zealand ODIs despite the failure of the incumbent batsmen in the ODIs in South Africa.

"I have also started bowling in nets so that I can contribute as a part-time bowler," Pujara, who has bowled in 10 innings in 93 first-class games, told PTI. "I want to help my team with part-time bowling if the captain wants me to. I am looking to bring improvement in my game, most important being playing on the rise. I am targeting specific areas, which include analysis of my batting and what mistakes I am committing in the middle. It will help me in the longer run."

Pujara is also banking on a good IPL season to further stake his claim. He has played 24 matches over four seasons, collecting 265 runs with a strike rate of 99.25.

"If I can prove myself in the IPL, I am confident that I can get success in ODIs too," Pujara, who was bought by Kings XI Punjab, said. "I had played a couple of good innings for my last franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore, which proved that I have the talent to excel in the shortest format also. It's all about getting more opportunities in the coming future. I am looking forward to have a successful IPL."

The commitment to expanding his skills comes on the back of wanting to be part of the World Cup side, which will be played in Australia in early 2015. "I do like to play one-day format," he had told Star Sports in January. "Especially with the 2015 World Cup coming up, I hope I get a chance to play in that team. As a cricketer, everybody dreams to play the World Cup for India and when I was playing one of the Ranji games India won the 2011 World Cup, and we all were following the game and we felt really proud on India winning the World Cup. And when you have the opportunity of serving the country and be part of the team it will be a different feeling. And there are a few things I am working on to be part of the one-day team."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by bhushanB on (March 14, 2014, 13:54 GMT)

@ Oracle_Magus

BTW i do not care about T-20.... All I really care is TEST cricket... and ODI world cup....(and away ODIs)

T-20 is just gambling... On its day ZIM can beat AUS fair and square... BD can beat SA.... You just need one batsman to click.... or one bowler a bit of luck.....

Posted by bhushanB on (March 14, 2014, 13:43 GMT)

@Oracle_Magus

From what little I have seen with Aaron and Umesh... I think that Umesh will be a better prospect....

Again..what little I have seen of Aaron... his action does not seem natural.. his left hand seemed stuck... and most of the time he darted hit-me balls on the pads... now that is one direction where it is faster the better for the batsmen..... Have not seen Aaron bowl any decent bouncers or any out swingers (most greats have a good out-swinger.. infact outswinger is their stock ball)...

I would love to see Umesh groomed....

Basically show some confidence in Bhuvi, Manage Shami and provide opportunities to Umesh, Rishi, Pandey, Aaron...

Now Zak is almost finished...Ishant (do not want to waste any words)...

Infact I think Zak would be more valuable in the ODIs than Tests.. as he is old.. and does not have that pace anymore to trouble the technically equipped TEST batsmen.... But in ODIs he can use his thinking brain and stop the run flow at death...

Posted by Oracle_Magus on (March 14, 2014, 7:15 GMT)

@bhushnB and Wolf777 Cheers! Why do feel that MSD or anyone will deliberately make our team Loose bro. Why do you feel that the Captain will be a dictator and make unanimously make decisions with the team selection and changes in fields bowling etc. As in every team the Coach and management is involved with the team selection and Vice Captain and seniors players are involved with on field decisions. Like us they too want our team to win Bro. But lack of an strike bowler will turn the table in opposition's favour. Aaron is a great prospect and with proper guidance and practice he can prove to be one of our greatest asset. Let wish our team the very best for the upcoming T20 and we will surely do well and maybe even lift the Trophy.

Posted by Oracle_Magus on (March 14, 2014, 6:51 GMT)

@bhushnB and Wolf777 Cheers! Why do feel that MSD or anyone will deliberately make our team Loose bro. Why do you feel that the Captain will be a dictator and make unanimously make decisions with the team selection and changes in fields bowling etc. As in every team the Coach and management is involved with the team selection and Vice Captain and seniors players are involved with on field decisions. Like us they too want our team to win Bro. But lack of an strike bowler will turn the table in opposition's favour. Aaron is a great prospect and with proper guidance and practice he can prove to be one of our greatest asset. Let wish our team the very best for the upcoming T20 and we will surely do well and maybe even lift the Trophy.

Posted by bhushanB on (March 13, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

@Pujara

In response to your comment "Cheteshwar Pujara: 'I want to help my team with part-time bowling if the captain wants me to' "

Poor Pujara..... The captain should first let you into the team....before he can ask you to bat/part-time bowl....

Posted by bhushanB on (March 13, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

@ mukesh_LOVE.cricket

Totally agree that Pujara should just concentrate on the tests..... But IND is not performing as a world champion.. forget about that ... it is belted like a minnow by minnows....

We need to give Pujara some chance and see if he is cut out for ODIs.. before it is too late....

otherwise... it will be very hard for us.. die hard IND fans.. to even logon to cricinfo after WC 2015

Posted by bhushanB on (March 13, 2014, 15:52 GMT)

For as much as I despised Sourav Ganguly in his playing days (its just me.. the indian in me..wanted the bat/ball talk....than taking off shirts and being adamant...but may be that was what was needed at that time), when he said "Congrats...but the real test for Dhoni's captaincy

would be in the away tours"... When he said that.. I thought (obviously prejudiced) he was talking out of his jealousy for Dhoni

having such a golden run at home.....

How SPOT ON ganguly was.... Dhoni's captaincy is a nightmare, there is not a single game when the IND fan was at ease when IND is

out of its comfort zone (home conditions) under DHONI..... To rub salt on the fresh wound... we even lost Home test seires to

ENG.....that too having asked for rank turners...

Posted by bhushanB on (March 13, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

Now it may not be entirely DHONI... may be he is just the scapegoat... but who ever is behind all these stupid decisions.. should be taken to task... and all selection matters should be made transparent... and there should be journalists with enough never... who can ask questions directly to the face

Otherwise.. you can just take any of the recently concluded away ODI/TEST... in the last few years and play it over, rewind.. play it over the DVD player... than watch any of the upcoming IND matches... atleast this way.... it is cheaper....

Posted by bhushanB on (March 13, 2014, 15:45 GMT)

continued...

10.) You chant the mantra "pace bowling alrounder".... but give one over to Binny and not send him to bat, even at no.8.....He does it in the face.. in the face of fans.. even in the face of the selectors...

11.) The list is endless..... and will go on and on..... we will have more people like Majoy Tiwary, Ojha... who will be remembered just like Gillespie.. who hit a ton ( or a double) in his last game...... Tiwary with a 100, Ojya with a 10-wicket haul and MOM.... in their last international matches......Now the best test batsmen trying to roll an arm.... Do you thin it is that simple to bowl at so late in the carrer... Ask Swann....how difficult it would be just to roll the arm over and bowl spin... why did he retire?

Posted by bhushanB on (March 13, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

Some of the worst comments/moves by Dhoni:

1.) Project Raina@4 (utter flop.... he was good at what he was doing..but you are just too ambitious... and you want to keep

Rahane out) 2.) We have a settled unit (hilarious.. stupid..idiotic.... If you can brag of an undefeated streak of 10 ODI wins outside of IND

or in AUS/NZ.. then may be...and a very good message to the playing X1 so that they can sulk and party... and rest of IND players can just retire or go after IPL) 3.) We know what spinners are we going into the WC with (Good message to aspiring talent) 4.) I have to think where to fit Pujara in.. He cannot get into the playing X1 just because he is good...well you never have to think twice when getting Rohit/Ishant/ and for that matter Jadeja came out of no where and started playing tests straight away.. and displaced the proven performer Ojha...you did not need to think twice then right?)

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