Cheteshwar Pujara turns 33: A look at his major feats
One of the greatest Indian Test batsmen, Cheteshwar Pujara, turned 33 on Monday. Following the recently-concluded Australian tour, it is safe to say that Pujara is in a league of his own, when it comes to batting. He projected a perfect testament of grit and resilience despite the frightful body-line bowling from Aussie bowlers. We take a look at his major feats.
In a career spanning over a decade, Pujara has amassed 6,111 runs from 81 Tests at a remarkable average of 47.74. So far, he has slammed 18 tons and 28 fifties in the format. He also has three double tons in Test cricket to his name. Pujara has been giant in India's domestic cricket, having tallied 16,096 First-class runs at an average of 52.94.
In the third Test against Australia at the SCG, Pujara became the 11th Indian batsman to complete 6,000 Test runs. He reached the milestone on Day 5, inspiring one of the India's greatest comebacks in Test history. Pujara attained the milestone in his 134th Test innings, the sixth-fastest after Sunil Gavaskar, Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid.
In 2017, Pujara went on to play the longest Test innings in terms of balls by an Indian. He faced 525 balls to score 202 in the Ranchi Test against Australia. The previous record was held by Rahul Dravid (495 balls to score 270 in Rawalpindi, 2004). Overall, Pujara became only the fourth batsman to face over 500 balls against Australia in Tests.
Pujara entered an exclusive club in the Eden Gardens Test against Sri Lanka (2017). He became the third Indian batsman and ninth overall to bat on all five days of a Test. Only ML Jaisimha and Ravi Shastri had achieved this feat before.
Pujara owns most double-tons among Indians in First-class cricket (13). In 2020, he slammed his 13th double-hundred in the Ranji Trophy clash against Karnataka. Notably, among Indians, he has two double-hundreds more than the next-best Vijay Merchant (11), while Vijay Hazare, Sunil Gavaskar, and Rahul Dravid have 10. He is the third batsman to slam 13 double tons before playing his 200th match.
The South African tracks are considered one of the trickiest in international cricket. On India's 2013/14 tour to the nation, Pujara fired a 270-ball 153 in the Johannesburg Test that was eventually drawn. To date, this is the highest second-innings score by an Indian in South Africa. Notably, Pujara faced the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, and Jacques Kallis.