I am not a power-hitter, but you learn from players like Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith: Cheteshwar Pujara
IPL 2021: Ahead of the Indian Premier League 2021, Cheteshwar Pujara opened up on how he is planning to adjust to the power-hitting style of cricket and how he plans to make a mark in IPL.
Cheteshwar Pujara is perhaps one of the most well-known faces of Indian Test cricket. The right-hander, often being dubbed as the second wall (after Rahul Dravid) of the team, because of his ability to play slow-paced long innings, is perhaps India's best Test batsmen at the moment. And yet, being just that has what affected Pujara's chances in the Indian Premier League over the years.
In the game of T20s, one needs to play fast-paced, high-octane cricket, and for years, Pujara was not picked by Indian Premier League teams, who all were unsure of how he would fit in the shortest format.
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But this year, when Chennai Super Kings bought Pujara at the auctions, there was a stamp of approval from other franchises, who all applauded the buy. Ahead of the Indian Premier League 2021, Pujara opened up on how he is planning to adjust to the power-hitting style of cricket and how he plans to make a mark in IPL.
"I have played limited-overs cricket in domestic cricket [in India] as well in county cricket. Just by playing those matches you realise what you can do in a particular situation. So that is something which can be helpful, because you need to understand what a bowler is trying to do, how the pitch is behaving, and what the shots are that you can play on a particular pitch," Pujara told ESPNCricinfo.
"And when it comes to strike rate, yes, I agree that I'm not a power-hitter. But at the same time, you learn from players like Virat [Kohli]. Rohit [Sharma], he is not purely a power-hitter, but he is one of the best timers of the ball I have seen in the shorter formats," he added.
"You learn from players like Kane Williamson. Even Steven Smith. All of them score runs by just playing cricketing shots, and at the same time they will be innovative. I also have that mindset, that if I want to be successful, I also need to be innovative, but at the same time you can still score runs by playing cricket shots.
"You need to get better at generating power, I won't deny that, but ultimately cricketing sense is what I feel will be your main strength," he signed off.
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