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Working to be part of ODI team: Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara

Calcutta: Cheteshwar Pujara sounded confident about his performance in New Zealand, specially after having been among runs against South Africa.

Admitting that the tour of New Zealand will be challenging, Pujara said: “It will be difficult challenge. But the kind of performance I have had in South Africa has changed my mindset and I am a different cricketer now,” he said during the Star Sports show Star Power.

“Because once you score runs in overseas conditions and face bowlers like Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Philander — the No 1 bowling attack in the world at the moment — it means a lot. Now my focus is on the New Zealand tour.

“But I do believe that South African conditions are the most difficult in the cricketing circuit. I think going to New Zealand and playing there might be a little easier,” he said.

Pujara has already become an important cog in India’s scheme of things in Test matches. However, with the 2015 World Cup in sight, he is keen on being one of India’s mainstays in ODIs too.

“I do like to play one-dayers. Especially with the 2015 World Cup coming up, I hope I get a chance to play in that team. As a cricketer, everybody dreams of playing in the World Cup for Team India…

“When I was playing one of the Ranji Trophy games, India won the 2011 World Cup. We all were following the game and we felt really proud.

“And when you have the opportunity of serving the country and be part of that team it is a very different feeling. There are a few things I am working on to be part of the one-day team,” he said.

Though Pujara is right now focussed on the New Zealand tour, he has expectations from other tours scheduled for the year.

“Since there are so many overseas tours coming up, our target is to win all of that. What everyone can expect from Team India is that fighting spirit we showed during the tour to South Africa,” Pujara said.