Cheteshwar Pujara, the Indian cricketer known for his remarkable performances in Test cricket, is undoubtedly one of the finest batters in the world. With his unwavering patience and never-give-up attitude, Pujara has proved to be a significant challenge for opposition bowlers. Stepping into the shoes of legendary cricketers like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, Pujara has made a name for himself in the longest format of the game through his commendable performances in domestic and international cricket.
Early Career and Rise to Prominence
Since making his debut for the Indian cricket team in 2010, Cheteshwar Pujara has experienced ups and downs, but has always emerged stronger. His illustrious career, spanning over a decade, is decorated with numerous records and milestones. Pujara has played 98 red-ball matches, accumulating a staggering 7014 runs at an impressive batting average of 44.39. This includes 3 double centuries, 19 centuries, and 34 half-centuries.
Top Knocks in the Indian Jersey
On the occasion of Pujara's birthday, let's take a closer look at some of his most memorable innings for the Indian cricket team:
1. 202 runs off 525 balls vs Australia (2017)
In the third Test of the home series against Australia, Pujara played the longest Test innings ever by an Indian batter. Facing a total of 525 deliveries, he scored an impressive 202 runs. Despite his heroic effort, the match ended in a draw. This innings showcased Pujara's immense concentration and determination.
2. 123 runs off 246 balls vs Australia (2018)
During India's tour of Australia, Pujara played a crucial knock of 123 runs in the first Test. While other Indian batsmen struggled against the lethal Aussie bowling attack, Pujara stood tall and helped India post a respectable total of 250 runs in the first innings. His contribution played a crucial role in India's historic Test win on Australian soil.
3. 153 runs off 270 balls vs South Africa (2013)
In a challenging Test match against South Africa on their home ground, Pujara played a stellar innings of 153 runs. Batting alongside Virat Kohli, Pujara showed great determination and resilience against a formidable bowling lineup. His partnership with Kohli helped India secure a draw in a match where they needed a miraculous performance to maintain their lead.
4. 132 runs off 257 balls vs England (2018)
During India's tour of England, Pujara played a crucial role in the fourth Test. Batting first, India got off to a strong start, but soon found themselves struggling at 195 for eight. Pujara, however, held firm and scored a gritty 132 runs, helping India reach a total of 273 runs. Although India ultimately lost the game, Pujara's performance left a lasting impact.
5. 206 runs off 389 balls vs England (2012)
Pujara's career-best knock of 206 runs came against England in a home Test. His marathon innings of 389 balls helped India post a formidable total of 421 runs in the first innings. Pujara's shots found the boundary line several times, with 21 fours in his innings. India eventually won the game by 9 wickets.
Cheteshwar Pujara's contribution to Indian Test cricket is immeasurable. His ability to anchor the innings and play long, patient innings has made him a vital cog in the Indian batting lineup. With numerous memorable knocks to his name, Pujara has cemented his place among the world's finest batters in Test cricket. As he celebrates his 35th birthday, fans and cricket enthusiasts alike can only hope for more stellar performances from this modern-day legend.