India’s Test superstar, Cheteshwar Pujara is making a comeback into the IPL this season with the Chennai Super Kings. He was purchased by the MS Dhoni-led franchise for a sum of INR 50 lakh in the mini-auction in February and will be seen in action in the coveted league for the first time since 2014. Pujara has been keen to revive his T20 career for a while and was disappointed that he was not picked by Gujarat Lions in 2016 and 2017.
Gujarat Lions was based out of Rajkot which is also Pujara’s hometown but did not make a bid for the Indian Test specialist for the 2016 and 2017 editions. The franchise purchased his long standing Saurashtra team-mate Ravindra Jadeja but did not show interest in the New Wall of India.
“Well, I was disappointed that I was not picked. But that was not in my control. It would have been nice if I was part of that side. That is in the past and I have moved on,” said Pujara.
Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiant were added to the IPL in 2016 after the BCCI had suspended the Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings for a couple of seasons. Pujara never got a chance to play an IPL match at Rajkot as he remained unsold in the 2016 and 2017 auctions.
Overall, India’s Test number three has played 30 matches (22 innings) in the IPL and has an aggregate of 390 runs with just one fifty.
Pujara was seen in the yellow jersey for the first time on Monday during a net session with CSK. The team is currently training in Mumbai where they are based for the first 5 matches. They begin their campaign against Delhi Capitals on April 10 in Mumbai.