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I would want to remain as consistent as possible: Pujara

By Rashmi Nanda -

In Last year, the right-handed batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was one of the most consistent batsmen for the Indian team. In the last calendar year, the 28-year-old, who had scored 836 runs from 11 Tests, Pujara would wants to keep his consistency in the game as possible and develop into an all-format cricketer. 

Pujara said that 2016 was a fantastic year for Team India and also said that he would want to remain as consistent as possible. On Saturday, he told Times of India, “Both for me personally, and from Team India's standpoint -- the year was just perfect in the way we played each game and executed our plans. My confidence levels are very high at the moment, and I hope to continue in the same vein in the coming year as well. The area that we, as a team, have always strived for is consistency. I would want to remain as consistent as possible and look to score runs each time I go out to bat.” 

We saw Pujara has been significantly improved his batting in the second half of this year, specifically during the New Zealand series and England series.

He said about the work which went behind this success, “During the New Zealand Test series, our coach Anil into told me that there was nothing wrong in the way I was batting. He said the area I could improve on was my intent. Anil Bhai said I had all the shots in the book, and all I needed to do was to play my natural game without worrying much about the strike-rate. He gave me the confidence that I had scored runs in domestic cricket and there was no reason why I can't replicate the success at the international level. He gave me belief and that paid off.” 

He said on Anil Kumble about his role, “As a cricketer who has played the game at the highest level for years, he knows each and every aspect of the game and his inputs are invaluable. He would give insights on the mindset of a bowler and as a batsman, there is a lot to learn. We are a young team and it is great to have someone like him to guide us.” 

Undoubtedly, Pujara is a mainstay in the Test cricket. He said about his chances in the shortest formats of the game, “I definitely feel that I am batting well and it's only a matter of time before I begin to do well in all formats of the game. I am sure my opportunities will come. “

There have been many bowlers, who faced by Pujara this year. He said about the bowler, who posted the biggest challenge on him, “I wouldn't want to name any one particular bowler as the toughest I faced this year because international cricket is highly competitive. Be it the ones I faced in West Indies or in the matches I played subsequently, all of them were a challenge and I wouldn't want to single out just one bowler.” 

While facing the rising ball against the likes of Matt Henry, Trent Boult, and even Chris Woakes, Pujara appeared in discomfort. When asked do you want to work on it? The Saurashtra batsman responded, “I think as an international cricketer, you have to keep evolving and constantly learn all the time. As a top-order batsman, my role is to go out there and score runs. The bowlers are constantly looking to get the better of me, and as a batsman, I am out there to score runs and help in my team's cause.” 

Pujara reveals secret about his fruitful partnership with Virat Kohli, “We both share a great rapport and have a very clear communication going on between each other. Virat brings a lot of positive energy to the crease and he looks to dominate from the word go. His positive intent rubs off on other members of the team. The moment he enters the crease, you can sense that the bowlers are under pressure. Virat brings intensity and that's the best thing about him.” 

When asked will you be playing in the county next year as well? Cheteshwar said, “It will all depend on how the season unfolds. It is too early to say how our schedules will be at that point in time. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed my last stint and there was a lot I learned during my time in Yorkshire.”