LONDON: Indian batting star Cheteshwar Pujara’s return to English county Nottinghamshire will give them a significant boost, head coach Peter Moores said on Wednesday.
Notts are well-placed for an immediate return to the eight-team elite of the county championship as they lead Worcestershire at the top of the second tier by 35 points.
“The great thing is that he (Pujara) has already been in the squad this season and he fitted in so well both on and off the field,” said Moores.
“He is a fantastic player, and since he has been away he has had a great time of it in the Test matches for India.
“So we are getting a guy who is coming back in form and for the team spirit, ‘Pudji’ coming back in is a huge boost for everybody.”
The 29-year-old Pujara, with 13 centuries and averaging more than 50 in his 51 Tests, has been away helping India sweep Sri Lanka 3-0 in a Test series — the first time they have achieved that away from home.
He shone for Notts earlier in the season, scoring 223 runs in four matches before leaving to play for his country.
He will be available for the final four matches of the run-in.
Pujara will have the chance to pit his wits in a fascinating duel with fellow Indian Test star and spin maestro Ravichandran Ashwin, who has signed for Worcestershire.
“We have got two really big home games against Northants and Worcester, because it is a chance for us to put pressure on two sides that are up there with us,” said Moores.
“Runs on the board at Trent Bridge is always a big influence and having a player of Test-match quality in ‘Pudji’ is a real bonus.”