Happy Birthday Cheteshwar Pujara: The star batsman’s five best performances in Test cricket at 35 – FirstCricket News, FirstPost

Cheteshwar Pujara certainly deserves a place in the league of the world’s best batsmen in Test cricket. Whenever he has appeared on the field beating the whites, his incredible patience and never-give-up attitude have posed a major challenge to the opposition bowlers.

Filling the shoes of legendary cricketers like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, Pujara made a name for himself in the longest format thanks to commendable performances in the domestic circuit. Since his debut for India in 2010, the Saurashtra batsman has faced several ups and downs. However, he has come back stronger each time, forcing the selectors to doubt their earlier calls.

Cheteshwar Pujara has played 98 red ball matches for India so far. He amassed an astonishing tally of 7014 runs at a batting average of 44.39. His illustrious career spanning over a decade included 3 double centuries, 19 centuries and 34 half centuries. Pujara celebrated her 35th birthday on Wednesday, January 25. On this special day, let’s take a look at his best knocks in the Indian jersey:

202 off 525 balls vs Australia (2017):

It was the longest Test innings played by an Indian batsman and Pujara deservedly holds the record. The right-handed batsman scored 202 runs from 525 deliveries faced in the third Test of the home series against Australia.

Batting first, the visitors posted a mammoth first innings total of 451 with the help of centurion innings by Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell. In reply, India made 603 on Pujara’s 202 board. But in the end the match was a draw.

123 off 246 balls vs Australia (2018):

In the first Test of India’s tour of Australia, Pujara played an exceptional knock of 123 runs off 246 deliveries, while other Indian batsmen easily succumbed to the Aussie bowling attack. Riding on the back of the innings, India managed to score 250 runs in the first innings.

Coming into bat, the hosts also struggled on the Adelaide pitch and fell 15 runs short of their first innings lead. In the next innings, Pujara once again shined with the bat by scoring 71 runs. Australia lost the match by 31 runs and India recorded their first Test win in Australia in a decade.

153 off 270 balls vs South Africa (2013):

In this 2013 Test, India needed a miracle performance to maintain their 36-run lead against South Africa at home after a stout first innings display. Pujara scored 153 runs off 270 balls while batting with Virat Kohli, who had already reached his maiden century in the first innings.

The pair took India to a total of 421 runs. Pujara showed great determination while battling a bowling lineup that included Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Jacques Kallis and Imran Tahir. In the end, India managed to draw the match thanks to his heroics.

132 off 257 balls vs England (2018):

Batting first, India made a strong start to the first innings of the fourth Test on their tour of Ireland and England. The hosts were restricted to 246, and India lost just two wickets for 142, with Pujara and Kohli putting on a 92-run partnership.

However, England quickly recovered and skittled India to 195 for eight. Despite India’s continued loss of wickets, Pujara stuck to the crease and India ended the innings on 273 with the help of the ‘marathon man’. Although India eventually lost the game, Pujara’s performance undoubtedly struck terror into the hearts of their opponents.

206 off 389 balls vs England (2012):

Pujara’s career-best 206 came in a win over powerhouse England in the home Test. His marathon innings of 389 balls helped India post 421 in the first innings. Unlike other matches, Pujara’s shots cleared the boundary line several times as his innings was studded with 21 fours. England suffered a follow-on in the second innings and India eventually won the game by 9 wickets.

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