Cheteshwar Pujara, a well-known Indian cricketer, has provided a genuine peek into the frequently underestimated emotional toll that comes with a player's tireless goal of establishing oneself. Pujara's recent views shed light on the psychological difficulties faced by cricketers, despite having a legendary career spanning over a hundred Test matches.
Pujara's forthright admission came after he was left out of the national selection for the West Indies tour. The experienced No.3 batter, who has an exceptional Test record with an average of 43.60 from 103 matches, admitted that his career has been filled with highs and lows.
The 35-year-old cricketer recently represented the West Zone in the Duleep Trophy. He proved his worth by allowing 185 runs in four innings while averaging 46.25. His efforts, however, were thwarted in the grand finals versus the South Zone, resulting in dual failures.
Pujara voiced his feelings on the "Final Word" podcast, saying, "There have been ups and downs in the last few years, and it tests you as a player because even after playing more than 90 Test matches, I still had to prove myself, that I belonged there." It's a one-of-a-kind task. It's not simple to prove oneself after 90 Tests and 6,000 runs."
Recognising the difficulties of dealing with constant scrutiny, Pujara admitted, "Sometimes it messes with your ego." Despite your many years of international success, there are still some doubts about your talent. You question if it's worth it if you have to prove yourself over and over."
While Pujara's return to the Test squad remains doubtful, he remains upbeat about his chances.
"I keep telling myself that I know I'm supposed to be there," he said. Despite knowing that, despite my contributions to Indian cricket, I still have plenty to offer. Every time I scored more than 70 or 80 runs, India went on to win."
Pujara's contributions, especially his key involvement in India's historic victories over Australia in 2018-19 and 2020-21, have cemented his position in cricket history. However, his recent form issues, as evidenced by his 2023 performance, have posed obstacles to his illustrious career. Despite these obstacles, Pujara's tenacity and determination continue to epitomise the real spirit of a cricketer who perseveres in the face of adversity.