As his quest to find a permanent spot in India's One-day side continues, Cheteshwar Pujara has also started bowling in order to fit the bill for ODI selection and said a good showing in IPL could see him on the plane to Australia and New Zealand for next year's World Cup.
"I have also started bowling in nets so that I can contribute as a part-time bowler. I want to help my team with part-time bowling if the captain wants me to. I am looking to bring improvement in my game, most important being playing on the rise. I am targeting specific areas, which include analysis of my batting and what mistakes I am committing in the middle. It will help me in the longer run," Pujara told PTI in an interview. Pujara said he is also looking forward to the upcoming Indian Premier League.
"If I can prove myself in the IPL, I am confident that I can get success in ODIs too. I had played a couple of good innings for my last franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore which proved that I have the talent to excel in the shortest format also. It's all about getting more opportunities in the coming future. I am looking forward to have a successful IPL," the middle-order batsman said.
Ever since making his debut in the 50-over format against Zimbabwe last year in August, Pujara has only played two ODIs in the limited opportunities he has got in the 50-over format and his non-inclusion for the dead Asia Cup rubber against Afghanistan left many flabbergasted. Former captain Sunil Gavaskar slammed the team management for not experimenting with the playing XI by including Pujara and medium pacer Ishwar Pandey in the match against Afghanistan, and even went on to say that the fear of reserve players succeeding over "current favourites" prompted the management to play the same team.
The Indian batsmen were found wanting against quality pace attacks in South Africa and New Zealand, but the team management decided not to tinker with the 'balanced' side. Pujara has all the makings of becoming one of India's most consistent players in both forms of the game, provided he gets the opportunity to showcase his batting prowess in the ODI format, too. He averages 55 in List A matches and his impressive strike rate resulted in many double and triple hundreds.