Rajkot: When a batsman compared to Rahul Dravid for his technique and temperament in the longest format of the game starts playing reverse sweeps, paddles and races from 150 to 200 in just 17 deliveries, you know very well that he has something in mind.
In the very next innings, that too in a Ranji Trophy knock-out match, he cracks a second-innings triple century and goes on to register the seventh-highest score in the history of the tournament. The message is clear — Cheteshwar Pujara is doing all he can to get a One-Day International debut at home in Rajkot.
While in the context of the game, it may not have amounted to much, since Saurashtra had sewn up first-innings points long before, Pujara did maintain a strike-rate of 82.43 in his 352, and looks thoroughly prepared, despite the fact that India skipper MS Dhoni called his debut unlikely.
Pujara's rapid-fire round before English test
Pujara says he was expecting a call-up to the ODI squad and that the 17-ball 50 in the last match against MP seems to have changed people’s perception of him. “As a cricketer it is a dream to play for India in all the formats and this is like a dream come true for me. I have been doing well in the domestic limited-overs tournament and even this season in the Ranji Trophy, I have done well and scored briskly, so I would be lying if I said I wasn’t expecting a call. I was in form and knew I would be given an opportunity,” Pujara told MAIL TODAY.
In the Challenger series last year, he notched up 361 runs in the three innings that he played with scores of 124 off 130 balls against Bengal, 158 off 126 balls against India A and again 79 in 80 balls against India A in the final. His strike rate in the tournament was 107.44. “Although I haven’t done anything differently, I think the 17-ball 50 in the knock against MP helped my cause and people took note.”
While different people have different ways of celebrating such moments, Pujara wishes that his mother was next to him during these times. But he is quick to add that it is her blessings that have helped him go through even the darkest times in life.
“My mother was very enthusiastic about my game and would always encourage me to go out and play. She too did dream to see me play for the country and make the country proud. I wish she was here with me and could see me fulfill my dreams of playing for India."
“But I also know that her blessings are always with me and whatever I am today is because her support and love is always there with me and her love has helped me go through every phase in life,” he said.
Late mom on Pujara’s mind after triple ton
Pujara wishes that his mother was next to him during these times.By Baidurjo Bhose | Mail Today – Fri 11 Jan, 2013 10:35 AM IST
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