Despite his prolific Test series in Australia this time, Cheteshwar Pujara has no grudge towards people who criticised him for struggles during the last tour down under in 2014-15 and says he was never perturbed by what the detractors were talking and writing about him.
"When I play international cricket, I don't need to silence anyone," said Pujara after scoring his 17th and second Test hundred in Australia during the ongoing Boxing Day Test at MCG, "I just need to keep scoring runs and that is what I love to do. I don't want to get into all such things."
"My job is to score runs and I will keep scoring runs, whether it is home or away. Sometimes you do get criticised and you just have to accept it. But if you keep scoring runs and if India keeps winning, ultimately everybody is happy," he added.
Pujara, who scored only one half-century across four Tests in 2014-15, has now amassed more Test hundreds than the great Rahul Dravid down under and India's brilliant No.3 emphasized his learnings from failures in the past.
"When you play international cricket, experience makes a lot of difference. 2014 was my first tour to Australia," the 30-year-old said, "I had started off well. It was at Brisbane where I got a half-century. Overall I was batting well. I was getting out in the 30s and 40s. It wasn't as if I was unable to play here."
"But it wasn't a tour where I scored many runs. I learnt from my mistakes. After playing those matches, I knew what to expect here. That tour has helped me score hundreds this time."
Pujara is tallying 328 runs from five innings including two hundreds and a half-century and is the highest run-scorer in the series so far. But, he says, the biggest motivation and ambition remains country's first Test series victory in Australia.
"It has been a good tour personally but the biggest thing is that this Test match is very important for us the way this series is pegged at 1-1. Everyone knows that the result of this Test is very important but at the same time we will focus on our game plan. My batting (form) has been good but it is also important to get 20 wickets," Pujara signed off.
(Inputs from cricket.com.au)