Cheteshwar Pujara glad for county stint with Yorkshire ahead of the England tour

Pujara went unsold at the IPL auction.

Pujara has earlier played for Yorkshire in 2015 | Getty

Having gone unsold at the IPL auction last month, India's seasoned Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will be starting his homework for England tour by playing for the English county side Yorkshire in Division 1.

India are scheduled to tour England from July 3 where they will play three T20Is and as many ODIs before featuring in a five-match Test series.

Speaking to PTI, Pujara said the stint with Yorkshire in 2015 helped him become a better cricketer and he is looking forward to another fruitful season.

"I am looking forward to the county season as we will be playing Test matches in August. I was with Yorkshire in 2015 when we won the County Championship. It's a fantastic team with good bunch of professionals, which helps me become a better cricketer," Pujara told PTI.

"Look, playing at Headingley in early English summer with temperatures around 4 or 6 degrees will test any batsmen's technique and temperament. Even scoring a 50 is tough. By the time, India tour starts, it will be bit more pleasant.

"Now playing Division 1 has its advantages. I will be playing against Middlesex (Lord's), Warwickshire (Birmingham) and Surrey (Oval) in away games, where India will play Test matches. So I will get a fair idea about the pitches and conditions," he added.

Pujara had exhibited a great deal of patience during the recently concluded three-match Test series against South Africa. In fact, it was his first innings 50 off 179 balls that laid the foundation for India’s historic 63-run victory over the Proteas in the third Test at Wanderers. The 30-year-old feels he won’t have to change his game technique-wise to succeed in England.

"The basics will remain the same but the primary criteria of doing well is respecting conditions. Technically, it's more or less same.

"I use lighter bats when playing overseas. Also the kind of fight we put in South Africa will augur well for us in England. May be we could have batted a bit better but we were in with a chance in all games," said Pujara.

He also admitted that none of the top Test teams are travelling well nowadays.

"England's performance in Ashes will tell you that all top teams are struggling a fair bit in overseas conditions," Pujara opined.

When asked about the reason why he is going unsold in the last few IPL auctions, Pujara said it has got a lot to do with public perceptions.

"Perception I would say has played a major role. If you check my performance in List A (average of 58 plus over 88 games) and T20s (strike rate of 105.18 in 58 games), I still have a lot to offer in shorter formats. I am not at all worried as I know my opportunity would come at some point of time," he concluded.


By Salman Anjum - 21 Feb, 2018

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