Veteran Team India batter Cheteshwar Pujara won the Player of the Series award for his performances in the recently concluded two-match Test series against Bangladesh. However, he played a key role in the visitors’ win in the first game in Chattogram, where he hit a century as well with scores of 90 and 102* across both innings in the first Test at a strike rate of 78.
While giving the credit to his county stint in England and domestic cricket with Saurashtra for his changed method of playing Tests, Cheteshwar Pujara shared to Ravichandran Ashwin in an interaction following the team’s series win in Dhaka:
“I was pretty happy with the way things went, particularly in the second innings (of the first Test) because that was the ideal situation for me to showcase the shots which I have been practicing. A lot of credit has to go to the amount of white-ball cricket I played for Sussex and Saurashtra.”
“You always want to put a price on your wicket” – Cheteshwar Pujara
He continued: “It helped me gain confidence, I was playing those shots before that as well, but in Tests you always kind of hesitate, you always want to put a price on your wicket, you don’t want to take the risk when you can score runs down the ground.”
However, his century in the second innings of the first Test marked his first one since the New Year’s Test against Australia in 2019 as well. Team India had a 254-run lead at the halfway mark of the first Test as well. Apart from him, Shubman Gill also did well with his maiden hundred and their respective centuries at a strike rate exceeding 70, helping the bowlers with enough time to bundle Bangladesh out as well.
“You know I have been working in this for quite some time. It’s been a couple of years. Last Test match was the one where I got the opportunity to do that, which you have been pushing me to do as well,” Cheteshwar Pujara concluded.