Cheteshwar Pujara set to play his 100th Test: Key stats
Senior Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara is set to play his 100th Test match. He will achieve the feat in the 2nd Test against Australia, starting February 17 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi. Pujara, a prolific run-scorer for India, has starred in several momentous matches at home and overseas. He recently touched the 7,000-run mark in the format. Here are the key stats.
Why does this story matter?
- Pujara, who made his Test debut in 2010, owned the number-three position in Tests after Rahul Dravid's international retirement.
- Though his international career has seen several ups and downs, his overall record is still stupendous.
- Pujara projected a perfect testament of grit and resilience despite the frightful body-line bowling from the Aussie bowlers Down Under in the 2020/21 series.
Pujara set to enter an elite club
In Delhi, Pujara will become the 13th Indian cricketer to feature in 100 Tests. Sachin Tendulkar (200), Rahul Dravid (164), VVS Laxman (134), Anil Kumble (132), Kapil Dev (131), Sunil Gavaskar (125), Dilip Vengsarkar (116), Sourav Ganguly (113), Virat Kohli (105), Ishant Sharma (105), Virender Sehwag (104), and Harbhajan Singh (103) are the only Indians with this feat so far.
A look at his Test career
In December, Pujara became the sixth-fastest Indian to complete 7,000 Test runs, having accomplished the milestone in 167 innings and 98 Tests. Overall, he currently owns 7,021 runs in Tests at 44.15. The tally includes 34 fifties and 19 tons, which include three double-centuries as well. Among Indians, only Kohli has scored more Test runs since Pujara's debut in the format.
Pujara is all about grit and character
Pujara's grit is what makes him a special talent. The 34-year-old has the distinction of facing 500-plus deliveries in a single Test innings. He is the only Indian player to do so. Pujara had spent 1,868 minutes at the crease against Australia in the four-match Test series in 2018/19. It is the third most by an Indian batter in a Test series.
His numbers in SENA countries
Pujara has played as many as 40 Tests in SENA countries since 2010. He has racked up 2,517 runs from 78 innings at an average of 33.11 in these nations so far. The tally includes five tons and 14 half-centuries. His average in winning cause: 35.13, losing cause: 25.68, draw: 53.15. Notably, Pujara averages just 20.30 in run-chases (SENA countries).
Pujara averages 50 in winning cause, aces number three spot
Pujara snatches the match away from the opposition single-handedly. Interestingly, he has more Test runs than Kohli in winning cause. The former owns 4,377 runs in 57 wins at an average of 50.89. Kohli is slightly behind Pujara, with 4,344 runs. Pujara is one of only two Indians with over 6,000 Test runs at number three (6,355). Dravid owns 10,524 runs in this case.
Ashwin highlights Pujara's long-term planning
Ravichandran Ashwin, in his recent column for ESPNcricinfo, stated that Pujara's "long-term planning is way ahead of anyone else". "We see he stays in the moment and defends, but in his mind when he is defending Dale Steyn in the first session, he has already planned for JP Duminy after tea. He knows he will get at least two overs from Duminy," he wrote.