India's coveted number three spot in Test cricket was firmly held by Rahul Dravid in 2000s.
As he bid adieu to international cricket in 2012, the mantle was passed on to a rather young Cheteshwar Pujara.
The latter has bolstered the Indian top order ever since.
Let us decipher how Pujara is the most important asset in the Indian batting line-up.
Pujara has played a pivotal role in winning Test matches for India since his debut.
He has scored 5,840 runs for India in 77 Tests at 48.66 thus far.
45 of those Tests have been won by India, wherein he has racked up 3,820 runs at an astronomical average of 57.87.
12 out of his total 18 tons have come in these matches.
Team India has earned the 'invincibles' tag at home in Test cricket.
They have not lost a single Test series in home conditions since 2012.
Pujara averages over 59 in 41 home Tests, having tallied 3,471 runs.
The 32-year-old has struck 10 tons and 3 double hundreds.
His 202 against Australia in the 2017 Ranchi Test is one of his greatest knocks at home.
Although Indian skipper Virat Kohli often hogs the limelight with his exhilarating hundreds in difficult conditions, Pujara has been India's unsung rescuer away from home.
Remember the 2018 Adelaide Test?
On the very first day, India were tottering on 86/5 before Pujara played a series-defining knock (123).
His unbeaten 132 against England at Southampton (2018) also redeemed India some pride, despite a 60-run defeat.
Pujara has certainly carried the legacy of Rahul Dravid in his own profound manner.
His mantra of venting out rock solid defence has worked big-time for India.
He leaves the ball outside off-stump in order to unsettle the line of bowlers and in turn punishes the poor deliveries.
Pujara's propensity to vigorously hold one end makes him a special batsman for India.
India recently concluded their first SENA cycle under Kohli with a 0-2 series defeat to New Zealand..
Notably, Pujara's contribution in the matches India won since 2018 (SENA), was more than that of even Kohli.
In four of those victories, Pujara piled up 437 runs at 54.62 as compared to Kohli's 414 (51.75).
The latter hammered a solitary ton, while Pujara struck two.
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