Cheteshwar Pujara does not look like he is in the scheme of things as far as Kings XI Punjab's playing XI is concerned but the gritty Saurashtra batsman has already started to make a mental note about what he intends to do before a tough tour of England comes calling.
The Test specialist intends to use the time before the England tour by preparing on seaming tracks back home in Rajkot and get ready to face the Jimmy Andersons and the Tim Bresnans. (Also read: Pujara says switching to Test mode after IPL won't be easy)
"Obviously, you can't create conditions like those in England but I will prepare some tracks back home and practice on them. I will do that just before the series starts. There's no point starting well ahead and putting pressure but once the IPL gets over, my focus will be on the England series," Pujara said ahead of Kings XI Punjab's match against Delhi Daredevils. (IPL 2014 Fixtures)
Pujara knows only too well that time is running out as far as making it to the core group for the next year's World Cup is concerned but he wishes to get a look-in for the short series in Bangladesh which will help him prove his credentials as a limited overs batsman.
"It's always a dream for any player to play in the World Cup but personally, I can't comment on whether I will be there. But I am very confident that the manner in which I am preparing, I will get some success and hope that in the coming series against Bangladesh, I will get a chance. My preparation has been fantastic.
"In Test matches, I have been doing well and that experience will help me in ODIs too because most of the bowlers you play in Tests, play ODIs also. If I have done reasonably well in Tests, it will help me do well in ODI format also," he explained.
By his own admission, he is trying to improve his repertoire of shots.
Asked if he intends to add an additional 'gear' in his batting, he said: "I don't think it's about changing gears; it's all about having more shots in your batting. There are a few more shots for T20 and ODIs but the basics still remain the same as you would want to play the ball as you have known.
"If I have done that in Tests, then why not in ODIs?"
About the selection of shots, he said, "For example, if the third man is up, then playing the reverse sweep is a good option. You could also may be try the scoop or the paddle shot which will force the bowlers to alter the length." Pujara had scores of 35 and 40 and was dropped after a string of poor scores by his IPL side. '
But India's No 3 in Tests is not perturbed. "You have to see the combinations in IPL and it's not that you can play all the games. Overall, I am happy with my performance so far. I was assigned a role and I did well. I am working on my game in T20s and ODIs and this will obviously help me in the future. If I do well in T20s, that can translate into good form in ODIs where I will get more time to build an innings."
From the team perspective, Pujara feels that winning all the matches is important in order to finish among the top two which will give them an additional play-off match.
"It is important for us to finish in the top two so that even if we lose the first game, we get another chance to qualify for the final. It is also important to maintain the winning momentum because if we start losing, it becomes very difficult to make a comeback. So I don't think we need to experiment too much."