Cheteshwar Pujara is back in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the first time since 2014, when he was with Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) during its run to the final. The M.S. Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings signed Pujara for his base price of Rs 50 lakh.
The 32-year-old, who made his Test debut in 2013 under Dhoni, expressed happiness over sharing the dressing room with the World Cup winning captain. “I will be playing with (MS) Dhoni bhai again… he was the captain of the Test team when I made my debut. I have fond memories of playing under Mahi bhai and look forward to playing with him again,” Pujara said in a video shared by CSK’s twitter handle.
“It is great to be back in the IPL. I am really looking forward to playing in the yellow jersey. Talking about the IPL, it is a change of mindset from Tests to T20 format. You need to switch gears as early as possible. So, I feel that it is the mental aspect that changes quickly. With good preparation, I am hopeful of doing well.”
In an interview with Sportstar in 2019, Pujara had rued lack of opportunties in the IPL. “Whenever I have played the IPL, I didn’t play the whole season. I just featured in three or four games and then wasn’t part of the playing XI after that,” he had said then. “It is important for a player to get a long run to be able to better understand what needs to be done to succeed in the T20 format. Now, with experience, I know how to pace my innings, but as a youngster, some more (T20) exposure on Indian pitches would have been nice.”