Although Pujara is geared up for his first IPL stint in six years, the big question surrounding him is whether he will make it to CSK’s Playing XI.
After going unsold for six years, Cheteshwar Pujara finally has an IPL side. At the IPL 2021 auction in February this year, Pujara, India’s Test specialist was picked by three-time champions Chennai Super Kings at his base price of ₹50 lakh. CSK is Pujara’s third IPL franchise having represented Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings in the past.
Although Pujara is geared up for his first IPL stint in six years, the big question surrounding him is whether he will make it to CSK’s Playing XI. Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee feels that although Pujara is an exceptional cricketer, the value he adds in T20 cricket is debatable. In a format where things happen within the blink of an eye, Lee reckons Pujara’s biggest challenge will be to score runs quickly, a trait people don’t usually associate with him or his batting.
“You can look at two different aspects. Firstly, he is a terrific cricketer – there is no doubt about his ability, no doubt about his technique or his determination to bat time. But when you look at the other side of things, you’ve also got to think that this isn’t Test cricket, this is T20s. It’s over in 90 minutes, 20 overs,” Lee said on the show titled T20 Crazy on SportsAdda.
Last week, a video of Pujara batting with a re-modelled stance and smoking sixes during a CSK net session went viral, which clearly shows his fierce determination towards cracking the code of batting in T20 cricket. However, referring to the India-Australia Test series earlier this year, Lee pointed out that Pujara’s strength is playing for time and it will be interesting to see how the batsman responds to the challenge of T20 cricket.
“You’ve got to score runs as quickly as possible. Can he do that under pressure? Maybe he can. What we’ve seen recently in the Australian series is that he loves to bat time so look it’s an interesting call. I’m a big fan of Pujara, I think he has a lot to offer. But let’s see if he can make it in this format,” Lee explained.