Cheteshwar Pujara’s return will bolster Saurashtra’s batting reserves for their Vijay Hazare quarter-final game against Baroda at the Feroz Shah Kotla. If Saurashtra doesn’t progress further, this knockout game could well be the last competitive outing for the 30-year-old before he turns up for Yorkshire, who have re-signed him as one of their overseas players for the upcoming county season. “I am looking forward to the season ahead. I had played with them in the 2015 season when we won the County Championship. It’s a fantastic set of players with a good bunch of professionals,” he said.
Pujara is not new to county cricket. After his stint with Yorkshire three seasons ago, he was signed up by Nottinghamshire last summer where he scored over 800 runs with three centuries.
Apart from Pujara, Yorkshire will also have the likes of Joe Root and Kane Williamson, making it a heavy-duty batting line-up. Pujara, who had endured a grueling tour of South Africa, said the experience will embolden him for the host of international tours lined up later this year. However, the county sojourn would specifically serve as the ideal preparatory ground for him ahead of India’s five-match Test series in England. “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 explained.
The county experience in the last four years could help him turn a corner in England. Going forward, he believed that both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were the best bet in the longest formats, despite the exploits of India’s wrist spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav – both of whom have tied the South Africans in knots with their guile and deception in the ongoing limited-overs leg of the series.