India veteran Test batter Cheteshwar Pujara broke his silence on being dropped for the red-ball series against the West Indies and expressed that he had to prove himself to feel that he ‘belongs’ at the international level.
“There have been ups and downs in the last few years and it tests you as a player because having played say more than 90 Test matches, when I got dropped, I still had to prove myself, I still had to prove that I belonged there. It’s a different type of challenge. Sometimes you do get frustrated, even if you have to prove yourself after 90 Tests and five-six thousand, whatever number of runs I had scored, it’s not easy,” Pujara told ‘The Final Word’ podcast.
“Sometimes it plays around with your ego. Having been successful at the international level for so many years, there are still doubts – are you good enough. And if you have to prove yourself again and again, [you wonder] whether it is worth it,” he added.
I keep telling myself that I know I belong there: Cheteshwar Pujara
“I keep telling myself that I know I belong there. I know that the kind of contributions I have made to Indian cricket, I still have a lot to contribute. I was given an interesting stat some time ago where I was told that whenever I have scored more than 70 or 80 runs for the Indian team, it is about 80% of the times India have gone on to win… or we haven’t lost that particular Test match. So, I know if I score runs for the Indian team, most times we are on the winning side,” he elaborated.