Cheteshwar Pujara put on a freak show in England’s domestic white-ball tournament, the Royal London One-Day Cup. Known for his batting prowess in red-ball cricket, Pujara put on a different avatar while playing for Sussex and amassed over 600 runs (624 runs to be precise) in just nine games. This performance from Pujara left everyone surprised as in how he never got to play white-ball cricket more.
However, the batter was not surprised by his performance. Pujara said that he worked hard on his game and improved as a batter. Where did he get the motivation for that? It clicked to him when he was continuously benched despite being picked by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2021. The 33-year-old says when he saw his teammates as CSK performing, he felt like doing the same. He felt the urge to play the shortest format of the game.
"This is a different side of my game for sure. There is no doubt about it. Pitches were good, slightly flat but even on those surfaces, you need to have that intent of scoring at a higher strike rate. This is something which I have always worked on. I was part of CSK a year before last and when I didn't play any games and saw the guys prepare, I told myself that if I want to play the shorter format. I always used to put a big prize on my wicket but in the shorter formats, you still want to play your shots in your game," Pujara said on The Cricket Podcast.
"I worked on it before the Royal London One-Day Cup. I went with Grant and spoke to him that there are some shots which I want to work on. When we were training, he told me that I am executing those really well and that gave me confidence. I thought that if I could keep working on some of the lofted shots which could help me and if I can execute those, I could be successful even in shorter formats," added Pujara.