Cheteshwar Pujara has had a record breaking 2016/17. His Ranchi knock of 202 versus Australia, his third double century in Tests, was only the tip of the records which he has achieved in a season where India have won nine out of 12 Tests and are looking to continue the unbeaten run.
“At times, I am in the zone where things are happening for me because of the experience. I know how to continue batting and to concentrate for long periods of time.
“I am aware of what to do and how to maintain the focus. I know how to switch off and switch back on. I have been doing this in domestic cricket for a long time and the results are showing,” Pujara stated.
Records galore for Pujara
The Saurashtra right-hander’s exploits in the 2016/17 season have been phenomenal. In the Ranchi Test, he broke Rahul Dravid’s 13-year record as he batted for 525 balls, the longest by an Indian batsman in Tests. In this season, He went past Chandu Borde’s record of most first-class runs while he is only one century away from equalling VVS Laxman’s record of eight centuries in a single season.
Pujara attributes the success of his record-breaking year to one factor: Patience. “Along with patience, it is all down to hard work. I have been playing cricket since eight and I started playing for the state team at 13. The experience gained in the domestic circuit and working hard everyday has worked well for me,” Pujara said.
Good preparation the key
Along with patience and hard work, Pujara is a firm believer in practising well in order to score big runs. “I am always confident when the preparation is good. When I am in the middle, I keep a blank mind.”
Pujara’s has scored some big centuries in this season and his fitness has been excellent. When asked about how he managed the physical and mental workload, the right-hander said, “I focus on diet and I try to sleep on time. I do some recovery sessions, which is my key focus. Mentally, there is nothing one can do extra. Motivation is the key,” he said.
With the India vs Australia series level 1-1, the deciding Test in Dharamsala will hinge a lot on the solidity Pujara will offer.