He is among the ones to have impressed most in the 2008-09 domestic season, which gets over with the Deodhar Trophy on Wednesday. Most youngsters and others to have done well this season are looking ahead to the IPL.
Even though his aims are similar to those of everybody else, Cheteshwar Pujara seems to be the odd man out. The IPL teams are naturally more interested in T20 utility than the conventional virtues of the game. So despite scoring heavily in the longer version of the game, all he can do is to hope that his chance will come.
"I've had a good season. I've scored at a fast clip too, so I don't think I don't stand a chance,” Pujara told HT. He was contracted by the Kolkata Knight Riders last year before being released after a few games. He figures in their preliminary list this year.
Pujara’s durability at the wicket has won him accolades and brought him in reckoning for a place in the Test team, not his strike rate. But the Saurashtra batsman feels he has it in him to make the necessary adjustments. “It’s a question of improvising, which is not very difficult if you spend time on it during practice. I’m working on it.”
This doesn't mean Pujara is trying to develop everything that is getting popular with the T20 invasion. He is not working on things like the scoop over the wicketkeeper's head. "I'm working on my strengths instead of trying these things. If you can play the lofted drives you don't need those shots.”
Pujara, however, is one of the victims of the Indian cricket board's inability to host the national T20 meet for the last two years after the inaugural edition in 2007. 'That was the only time when I played T20. Although I've played a few matches for my employers, those tournaments were not of a high level."