Cheteshwar Pujara is known for his stoic defensive game and patient batting that grinds the best bowlers to dust, but as he hit the nets with his new Indian Premier League (IPL) team Chennai Super Kings, he threw caution to the wind, adopting a new aggressive approach that is required for the game’s shortest format. In a video shared on Twitter, Pujara was seen timing the ball to performance as he smashed aerial shots to all sides of the field against net bowlers and the throwdown specialist, batting with a higher bat-lift than he does in Tests.
The new avatar of Pujara wowed Twitter users.
“40 ball hundred loading,” one user wrote in response to the video.
“Stance badla hua lag raha hai (The stance looks different),” wrote another.
“That last ball six was gorgeous. Hopefully it won’t affect his Test career. Go well Pujji,” another user commented.
“Wow, @cheteshwar1 changed his stance, more uplift of a bat, may be that’s the way to go for hard hitting in shorter formats, can’t wait to see him, hope @msdhoni_7781 gives him the chance to prove his worth,” wrote another.
“Playing lofted shots … Very excited to see him in the playing 11,” tweeted a user.
Pujara was picked up by CSK in a mini-auction ahead of the IPL 2021 season for his base price of Rs 50 lakh.
He is a Test specialist for India, but he does not play in the shorter formats for the national team.
In 2014, he last appeared in an IPL match.
“I think it is a change of mindset switching from the Test format to the IPL and you just need to switch the gears as early as possible. So, I feel it is the mental aspect which changes quickly with good preparation I am really hopeful that I’ll do well in the IPL,” Pujara had said about joining CSK and playing in the IPL.
The IPL 2021 season will begin on April 9th. CSK will face Delhi Capitals in their first match on April 10.