Cheteshwar Pujara announced as new Sussex Cricket captain
Haines said: “I think from last year to this year I'm in the right stage of my career to focus on scoring as many runs as I can for Sussex. Especially in four day cricket and try and push for a place in the [England] test team.
“Pujara is at a stage where he knows everyone hear from last year and has played more then 100 tests for India, so there is a good man there with a lot of knowledge to captain our side.”
Pujara will be joining Sussex for a second consecutive season and is confirmed to be available for the Shark’s opening game of the season against Durham – which starts on Thursday, April 6.
The opener, who has scored more 7,154 runs in 102 test matches for India, will miss county games when playing in the Test Championship final
at The Oval – starting June 7 – and during India’s tour of the West Indies in July and August.
For those matches, Tom Alsop will take the Sussex captaincy. Ravi Bopara will lead the T20 side and Haines will captain the team in the One Day Cup.
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Speaking on the change of captaincy, coach Paul Farbrace said: “I think Tom is at a place where is been the main stay of the batting line-up for the last three years. He took the job on as the captain and did an excellent job, but I think it is time that he focuses on his game and being the best player that he can be. I also think Tom Alsop working with Pujara could be a really good partnership.
“His [Pujara] one big thing is his expectation on winning. He knows how to win, he expects to win. He’s not someone who is going to get up and make fantastic speeches, but the ways he goes about things will be really good. The combination of him and Tom [Alsop] working together will be really strong."
Farbrace was appointed as the new Sussex head coach in May and has set high targets for the club this season. The 55-year-old is aiming to win promotion from the County Championship Division Two and reach the T20 Blast Finals Day.
Alsop said the new coach’s message was being well received by the young players.
He added: “I think if we are all reading from the same hymn sheet and trying to push in the same direction together. The difficulty comes when there are mixed messages, but at the moment, we are all clear on how we can win games.”