WTC final: How does Cheteshwar Pujara perform against New Zealand?
Team India is set to lock horns with New Zealand in the WTC final at The Ageas Bowl, starting June 18. India, who will play their first Test since March 2021, have started training in phases. Their batting will once again rely on top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who has the right technique for the testing conditions. We analyze his Test performance against New Zealand.
A successor of Rahul Dravid, Pujara has been serving the Indian team for over a decade. The senior batsman has amassed 6,244 runs from 85 Tests at a remarkable average of 46.60. He has slammed 18 tons and 29 fifties in the format. Pujara also has three double tons in Test cricket. He owns 16,229 First-class runs at an average of 52.35.
Pujara is the joint-seventh-highest run-scorer for India against New Zealand in Test cricket, along with Gautam Gambhir. He has racked up 749 runs from nine Tests against them at an impressive average of 46.81. The tally includes two hundreds and four half-centuries. Pujara is behind Rahul Dravid (1,659), Sachin Tendulkar (1,595), Virender Sehwag (883), VVS Laxman (818), Mohammad Azharuddin (796), and Virat Kohli (773).
Pujara has a top score of 159 against New Zealand. He smashed this in the 2012 Hyderabad Test, which India won by an innings and 115 runs. This was Pujara's maiden hundred in Test cricket, which came in his fourth match.
Pujara has a scintillating record against New Zealand in home conditions. In five home Tests against them, he has racked up 589 runs at an incredible average of 73.62. Both his hundreds against them have come at home. Pujara would want to improve his record away from home. He has scored 160 runs from four Tests at 20.00 against NZ.
Pujara was India's second-highest run-scorer in the 2019 Test series in New Zealand (two matches). He smashed 100 runs, including a 50+ score in a series that turned out to be low-scoring. Notably, New Zealand's Tom Latham emerged as the leading runs-scorer with 122 runs.
Over the years, Pujara has scored 133 runs off 299 balls against Trent Boult. The tally includes as many as 233 dot balls. Notably, Pujara has been dismissed by the left-arm seamer four times. Meanwhile, Tim Southee has dismissed Pujara thrice in Test cricket. The latter has amassed 43 runs off 130 balls against Southee (107 dot balls).