It is not often we see a top Indian player sitting out of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Such has been the case for India’s most trusted and dependable batsman in the recently concluded Test season —Cheteshwar Pujara. Pujara, who looted runs in the India’s 13-Test season, went unsold in the IPL Auction 2017. Pujara who is currently enjoying his free time at his home in Rajkot says he does not watch the IPL on television much, which has nothing to do with his non-selection. Pujara by the way was seen at the Rajkot stadium after being invited by Gujarat Lions for their opening game of the season.
A report in newindinaexpress.com quotes , Pujara saying,” “It’s either practice or fitness training almost the entire day and it can’t be cricket 24 hours. The switch-off happens in the evenings, when I am with family or friends. That is why I do not watch IPL on TV, not because I am not part of it. I watch occasionally, mostly if someone else is watching.”
Pujara’s home season records in 2016-17 read 1,314 runs at 62.66 with four hundreds to his name. Speaking about his run in the Test, Pujara said, “It’s fantastic to have contributed to the team’s success, but I thought I gave away my wicket too many times. There were starts that I could not convert. I have to improve in this area. I’m known to get big hundreds and have got them since my junior days.”
Speaking about the recently debated India-Australia series, Pujara concluded, “Many wanted India to win, the Australia series was tough. To have done well in those matches and gained the respect of teammates and oppositions brings about a satisfaction that cannot be matched. The feeling that comes from performing when the team needs you to cannot be compared. I do not want to talk about how much others are earning or doing. What I’ve earned is precious to me.”
Pujara is currently managing his time between home and training at his own cricket academy in the outskirts of Rajkot in a bid to secure an English County contract.