"It's about playing as many first-class games as possible" - Pujara on his comeback

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23 Jun 2022 | 07:23 AM
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"It's about playing as many first-class games as possible" - Pujara on his comeback

The 34-year-old was left out of India's home Test series against Sri Lanka earlier this year

Cheteshwar Pujara said playing Ranji Trophy and County Championship helped him regain his form and stage a comeback to the Test side.

The 34-year-old Pujara, who was left out of India's home Test series against Sri Lanka earlier this year, forced his way back into the national team for the fifth Test against England after scoring 720 runs in just five matches with an outstanding average of 120 for Sussex.

While in the Ranji Trophy, the right-hander scored an 83-ball 91 against Mumbai and ended up scoring 191 runs in five innings at an average of 47.75. However, it was his performance for Sussex that helped him get back into the national side. In eight innings, Pujara managed scores of 6, 201*, 109, 12, 203, 16, 170* and 3.

"It's about playing as many first-class games as possible and for me, that experience was very important. When you want to get back into form, when you want to find your rhythm, when you have that concentration, it is important to play some long innings" Pujara told BCCI.tv.

"So, when I was playing for Sussex, I could do that. When I had my first big knock against Derby, then I felt that my rhythm was back, my concentration and everything was falling in place. Yeah, I had a very good time with Sussex," he added.

Pujara said that he was confident of performing in the county games, as he was already in good form in the Ranji Trophy. "I played three games for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy. Even there, I found my rhythm and I knew that I was batting well."

"It was about getting a big score and so when I had that in my first game, I knew that everything is back to normal now. (I was) finding my footwork, the back lift was coming along well."

Pujara along with wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, and pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna will be representing Leicestershire in the four-day warm-up match starting on Thursday.

India will take on England in the rescheduled fifth Test match starting July 1 at the Edgbaston Cricker Ground in Birmingham.

(With inputs from PTI)

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