Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie has backed Cheteshwar Pujara to make a big impression as the LV= County Championship holders prepare to begin the defence of their title.
The 27-year-old sealed a late switch to Yorkshire on April 1 after the county’s move for Younus Khan fell through, but Gillespie expects Pujara to hit the ground running.
“We originally signed Younus, but that felt through. This has worked out perfectly for us, to be honest,” Gillespie said.
“Having a young player that really wants to prove himself and improve as a player fits in exactly with how we like our overseas players.
“Over the last few years we have been very lucky having hungry, young overseas players with a point to prove. Pujara fits that perfectly. We have a quality international player with a point to prove.”
Pujara will remain with Yorkshire until the end of May and he is equally excited about joining last year’s champions, who begin their 2015 campaign away at Worcestershire.
“When I heard that I was the third Indian cricketer to play for Yorkshire, it was a great feeling and an honour for me,” he said.
“When I was playing for Derbyshire last season, I saw the kind of cricket Yorkshire played and they won the County Championship as well. I never had a second thought when I had the option to play for Yorkshire.”
Newly promoted Worcestershire will be hoping to let Moeen Ali loose on Sunday, though Sri Lankan Sachitra Senanayake’s debut is dependent on the travel gods playing ball.
Moeen, named in the Wisden Cricketer of the Year list, is confident of taking his place in the playing eleven when Yorkshire visit New Road, after the spinner’s World Cup with England ended early due to a side strain.
He was included in a Worcestershire friendly earlier this week and on Friday, when responding to a fan in a question-and-answer session on Twitter, Moeen said: “Injury is fine, ready to go now and my aim is to help win the Ashes this summer and have a good season in Div 1!”