Cheteshwar Pujara believes standards are rising at Sussex.

He pinpoints fitness and the quality of their fielding as good examples of that.

The vastly-experienced India batsman is happy to play his part as the county make a promising start to the Vitality County Championship season.

Pujara calmly saw the county over the line in a tense run chase as thy enjoyed a home win over Gloucestershire last time out.

After a free week, Sussex return to action when they visit Derbyshire today.

Leicestershire have gone top of division two but Sussex remain well-placed, with a game in hand, after their free week.

There is a long way to go and there will be personnel changes along the way.

Pujara is only here for the first batch of games and the new-ball pair of Jayden Seales and Ollie Robinson will not be together for long.

But Pujara, who has played in tough seasons alongside almost a complete line-up of raw youngsters, believes a more experienced squad is driving standards.

He is happy to set an example to the younger players, the best of whom have retained their places in the XI as older players are added.

Pujara said: “I think experience makes a big difference.

“While you know there is a lot of potential here, it is about finding the right balance of some of the young players and having that experience behind them.

“How to guide them, how to play in some of the situations.

“If you look at the team, they are getting better as players and that is what you want.

“You want them to work hard on their game.

“Try and keep learning each and every time they are out there in the middle.

“There has to be a purpose in each and every nets session they are part of.

“It is not just about the skills.

“It is also about what you do in your strength sessions, what you do about your fitness.

“Everyone is putting in enough effort to get fitter and work on different aspects of the game.

“Don’t forget about the fielding as well.

“If you look at this team two or three years ago, we were not a good fielding unit.

“But now there has been a massive change in how we are fielding.

“There is always scope for improvement and that is where the role of coaching staff comes in.

“They have put in that effort to make sure lads are aware of their training, about their diet, about different aspects of their skills.

“Nothing comes without putting in enough effort and they have done that over a period of time.”

It took a bizarre run out to send Pujara back to the pavilion on his return to the 1st Central County Ground as he scored 86 and 44 not out against Gloucestershire.

That was after he felt his way back in with a tentative 38 at Leicestershire.

Pujara, 36, delayed his start to the Championship season slightly due to a back issue.

He said: “I was a bit nervous when I was playing my first game at Leicester.

“I wasn’t sure whether I was 100% then but things are looking really good now.

“Even in terms of the way I am batting now.

“I am really confident and hopefully this stays a little longer.”

Sussex make no secret of their ambition to regain top-flight status this season, with head coach Paul Farbrace setting that target after a near miss last term.

Pujara said: “In the end you always want to get promoted.

“If you look at this team two or three years back, we have come a long way.

“Guys are confident we will get promoted but you always try and take one game at a time.

“It is always important to play good cricket.

“That is what we have been doing well and that comes with preparation.”