Cheteshwar Pujara will compete in his first IPL season since 2014 when he played for the Punjab Kings. The Indian batsman was picked up by Chennai Super Kings in the auction for a base price of Rs.50 lakhs, which invited a huge round of applause from other franchises.
Pujara has established himself as one of the Test match greats, but chances in the limited overs format have often been hard to come by. N Srinivasan, the CSK boss stated that they could not have let the batsman go unsold in the auction as he was a national hero. Cheteshwar Pujara is quite excited to start the new season under the leadership of MS Dhoni. He made his Test debut for India under Dhoni’s captaincy way back in 2010 against Australia.
“It is very kind of him to say that (on Srinivasan’s comments). I feel privileged to be part of such a franchise that respects the performance of the players for the national team. I am lucky that I will be playing under Mahi bhai who was my captain when I made international debut.”
“And when Mr. Srinivasan, who has been associated with cricket for a long time, says such things, it feels great. It is an emotional moment for me,” Cheteshwar Pujara told Cricbuzz.
Pujara has played 30 IPL matches so far, scoring 390 runs at an average of 20.52 and a strike rate of just under 100. He has been working on hitting the big shots during the training sessions. He stated that he does not overrate himself as T20 batsman but expects himself to do a fine job this season.
“I don’t overrate myself as a T20 player. I can’t say where I stand as a T20 cricketer but as a cricketer, I am in much better space. Having played a lot of cricket at the international level, I am very confident I will do well in the shorter format too. I feel I am part of the right setup in the IPL,” Cheteshwar Pujara added.