Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has been one of the mainstays of the Test lineup for many years, but failed to sustain his place in the limited-overs formats. Pujara, who was India's star performer in the recently-concluded Test series against Australia, affirmed that he has not lost sight of a place in the white-ball squads for Team India.
The Gujarat batsman, 33, has played only five ODIs for India, making his last appearance in the fifty-over format in 2014 against Bangladesh.
"I still have aspirations to play white-ball cricket for Team India, there's no doubt about that. Yes, at the same time it becomes difficult when other guys are getting some match practice," Pujara said on Sports Today.
"After the lockdown I didn't have any match practice before the Australia tour so to prepare for that big series it became a little difficult. Otherwise if there was no COVID then there would have been some first-class games which I would have played."
India's Test series against Australia marked the return of the side in the longest format of the game after more than nine months.
"But because of the COVID lockdown there were not many FC games which I could play. I only played 1 game (warm-up match) before the Test series started so as a batter it was difficult to gain the rhythm, concentration. Early on it was difficult but as I started playing few more games, it took me a couple of Test matches to find the right way (to bat in Australia)," Pujara further said.
Despite the lack of match practice, however, Pujara played a major role in India's incredible 2-1 series win over Australia Down Under. Pujara, who bats at number three for India, displayed immense grit and patience throughout the series as he braved the fiery Australian pace attack, facing 928 deliveries -- the most by any batsman in the series.