New Delhi - India's prolific batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has admitted his status as
a Test specialist means he fails to bag lucrative endorsements - but
said he doesn't care.
Old-school Pujara was the hero in India's historic first Test series
win in Australia, amassing 521 runs including three centuries, but is
regularly overshadowed by more glamorous teammates including captain
"Being a (specialist) Test cricketer, I accept that there haven't
been many endorsements. I am someone who doesn't go after endorsements,"
Pujara told The Indian Express daily in comments published on Wednesday.
"For me, the true thing is the love of the game. My father has taught
me that I don't just play for myself but for the entire country," he
"What I like is the appreciation from this country and from (the)
cricketing fraternity, which is more than any endorsement I might get in
my life," he added.
Pujara, 30, won man of the series in Australia, keeping the
opposition bowlers at bay with his stubborn batting as he faced well
over a thousand deliveries.
India legend Sachin Tendulkar hailed Pujara's "concentration and
understanding of the game" and felt the efforts of the top-order batsman
was the "difference between the two teams" Down Under.
"The RESPECT you get as a cricketer for what @cheteshwar1 is doing in
TEST CRICKET, is GREATER than any wonderfully skilful T20 innings.
Youngsters - look, learn & listen!," former England batsman Kevin
Pietersen wrote on Twitter.
But unlike many Indian players who sign up with brands and become
stars in a cricket-crazy nation, the unassuming Pujara returned from
Australia to quietly get on with domestic cricket.
In a list of India's top 20 valuable celebrity brands published by
advisory firm Duff & Phelps earlier this month, Kohli topped the
list but Pujara was nowhere to be seen.
Kohli, who has advertised everything from motorbikes to toothpaste to
whisky, recently even became the face of a line of traditional
clothing, "The Virat Collection".
Pujara has not been signed up by any Indian Premier League (IPL) team
and is unlikely to be part of India's one-day international (ODI) side in
this year's World Cup in England and Wales.
Pujara has scored 5 426 runs at an average of 51.18 in 68 Tests since
making his debut in 2010. He has just played just five ODIs.