Cheteshwar Pujara with her daughter(HT Photo)
Cheteshwar Pujara with her daughter(HT Photo)

‘Everything revolves around my daughter right now’

Everyday a top athlete will talk about her or his experience of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. This is Cheteshwar Pujara, India’s No. 3 batsman in the longest format of cricket who knows well the importance of biding one’s time.
Hindustan Times | By Cheteshwar Pujara
UPDATED ON APR 23, 2020 03:53 PM IST

Even though it can get a little bit frustrating, it is important to stay at home in these troubled times. The feeling of frustration is not bigger than life. You just have to deal with it for a few days, and then we might get used to it.

You have to find new activities to do at home. That’s what we are doing, and so even though it feels like there is a lot of time on our hands, there isn’t really much. My daughter Aditi takes most of our time. Everything revolves around her. We don’t get bored due to her presence; she is very energetic, running around the house almost throughout the day.

Our timings are set according to her, so my workout is mostly done in the afternoon when she is sleeping. I wanted to learn cooking, but I am not sure that I will have enough time for it.

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In these times, you have to manage all your work on your own, which is again not a big issue for us. When I go to play County cricket (in the UK), we manage the household chores on our own. Right now, I am trying to help my wife, Puja, by either cleaning the house, chipping in with washing the utensils or just organising things at home.

During the Ranji Trophy final (last month), I was struggling to bat due to a back strain. I was advised two weeks of rest, and it has healed now. In any case, there won’t be any matches for a month or so. That said, I want to work on my fitness. I have a gym at home and I am training as per the chart given by the trainer—strengthening my back, doing cardio by running on the treadmill or cycling. I am trying to focus on these things at the moment.

There is no right time (for a break like this) but for us (longer format players), this is the end of the season and there aren’t many games coming up. So, it won’t affect my skills part. Because, even if I start playing cricket after a month, I understand my batting and getting into rhythm will not be difficult. You just need to be in good shape.

When the matches start again, I will be ready for it. At the moment, I am completely off cricket and not even watching the game at all. If I get time, I catch up on some movies and watch Netflix.

My message for everyone is that it is important to do some exercises, whether it is yoga or simply walking in your room. You don’t need a bigger space to walk, and a little bit of exercise will always help. And remember: don’t move out at all, except for getting hold of essentials.

As told to Sanjjeev K Samyal

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