Cheteshwar Pujara- The New Batting Spine of Indian Cricket

Cheteshwar Pujara

There are too many Gods in Cricket, God of off side Sourav Ganguly, God of Gamble MS Dhoni or God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar, but there is only one holy Pujari, the common simple orthodox Cheteshwar Pujara.

He isn’t flamboyant, cheeky or a demolisher, he plays normal average cricket not so eye soothing cricket, but guard his wicket like a solider. You could sense a paramount self-belief and determination in his eyes during batting. A few months the fans and spectators wrote him off calling him a flat track bully.

Nothing to offend, the fast rising ball was causing all sorts of trouble to him, but playing county cricket for Yorkshire exposed him to fast, bouncy windy conditions. He matured as a play and developed his back foot play. Due to his exemplary performance his Yorkshire teammates nicknamed him “Steve”. I wonder was it Steve Rogers.

The highest pedigree batsman arrived Australia with no reputation, all eyes were on Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajikya Rahane. But the underdog batsman jumped to the crease like a hungry lion and has scored 328 runs in 5 innings at an staggering average of 65.6, which includes two gritty hundreds and one fifty. At the moment he is the leading run scorer in the series.

He has now gone passed Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and equaled Virender Sehwag in terms of most number of centuries by an Indian on Australian soil. He has now registered 2 centuries on Australian soil till date that too in the same series equaling Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, only Sunil Gavaskar and Virat Kohli are the only Indian batsmen to have scored 3 centuries or more against Australia in Australia in the same series twice.

Virat Kohli achieved the feat during the 2014- 15 test series, scoring 4 centuries in 4 test matches, whereas Sunil Gavaskar achieved the nerve wreathing milestone in 1977-78 and 1985-86 series respectively. With 3 more innings under belt, Cheteshwar Pujara can equal or break the Sunil Gavaskar record of most centuries against Australia in a single series.

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