Chennai Super Kings buy Cheteshwar Pujara: The premier Indian Test batsman will be playing in the IPL after as many as seven years.
A day ahead of the 14th season of the Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings CEO has expressed confidence in captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni carrying on even after this season of the cash-rich league.
“I don’t think it is going to be his [MS Dhoni] final year [in the IPL]. This is my personal view and I don’t think we are looking at anybody now,” Viswanathan was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
It is not for the first time that Viswanathan has publicly backed the former Indian captain. Being asked about the prospect of Dhoni leading CSK in IPL 2021 despite a disastrous IPL 2020, Viswanathan had answered in the affirmative. Dhoni, who had retired from international cricket last year, had himself confirmed his participation in this season of the biggest T20 league.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 8, 2021
Why did Chennai Super Kings buy Cheteshwar Pujara in IPL 2021 auction?
IPL 2021 will also welcome back India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara after as many as seven years. Pujara, who had made his IPL debut for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2010, had went on to represent Royal Challengers Bangalore (2011-13) and Kings XI Punjab (2014).
Since then, Pujara putting his name in the auction only to remain unsold and subsequently flying to England to play county cricket had sort of become a norm for the right-hand batsman. However, it was during IPL 2021 auction in Chennai earlier this year that the Dhoni-led franchise acquired Pujara’s services.
Being asked about the rationale behind picking Pujara, Viswanathan laid emphasis on “honouring him” and was confident of him playing a role at Super Kings despite not playing a T20 for more than two years.
“We also wanted to honour him, that’s for sure. But at the same time, I can tell you one thing, a person of his calibre with such good technique, he can adapt to any format. That is our view.
— cheteshwar pujara (@cheteshwar1) April 7, 2021
“He can be a player who can contribute a lot to CSK. That’s what we felt and that is the reason why we picked him. He will certainly have a role to play, but I cannot say whether he will play the first game or the second game,” Viswanathan mentioned.
In 22 IPL innings till date, Pujara’s 390 runs have come at an average and strike rate of 20.53 and 99.74 respectively with a career-best of 51 (48) in a losing cause against Kings XI in Mohali.