The second Test between India and Australia at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi would be special for Cheteshwar Pujara as it would be his 100th Test match. The 35-year-old began his red-ball journey for India against Australia in Bangalore in 2010. Life has come a full circle for the defiant man of Indian cricket.
Experienced Indian middle-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara has termed his exceptional performances during the tour of Australia in 2018-19 as the best of his career. Pujara was the Player of the Series for amassing 521 runs in four Tests as India registered their maiden Test series win Down Under.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has urged the struggling Test duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to go back to Ranji Trophy and try and score plenty of runs to get their form and confidence back. Both the veteran batters have been going through a wretched run of form lately. While Rahane has not scored a century since the famous Boxing Day Test against Australia in 2020, Pujara’s last Test hundred was registered in Sydney in January 2019.
Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara admitted that the Johannesburg surface has variable bounce after scoring a crucial fifty on Day 3 of the 2nd Test against South Africa. Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane struck half-centuries while Hanuma Vihari scored a vital 40* as India posted 266 in their second innings and set South Africa a target of 240 for victory. In response, the Proteas reached 118 for 2 by stumps.
India’s No. 3 batter Cheteshwar Pujara feels that India’s fast bowlers could be the difference between the two teams in South Africa. Pujara pointed out that India have always done well away from home when their fast bowlers have delivered, whether in Australia or England. Even on the previous tour, while India lost 1-2, their pacers came up with some excellent performances.
Despite yet another failure for Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the Kanpur Test, Team India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour backed both the veteran batters to come good in the future. Pujara was dismissed for contrasting 20s in both innings of the Test match against New Zealand while stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane registered scores of 35 and 4.
Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara has stated that Rahul Dravid coming in as coach of the Indian team will help not only the younger players but senior players like him as well. It is no secret that Pujara has modelled his game on Dravid. In fact, he took over the No. 3 spot in India’s Test team following Dravid’s retirement.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma has said that there has not been any chat at all about Cheteshwar Pujara’s form in the dressing room. According to Rohit, all the talk has been on the outside but within the team, everyone is in full backing of Pujara.
Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (61) and Cheteshwar Pujara (45) added a crucial 100 runs for the fourth wicket on Day 4 of the Lord’s Test against England. However, both fell before the close of play as the hosts seized back the advantage. India ended the day on 181 for 6, with a lead of only 154 runs. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant (14 off 29) and Ishant Sharma (4 off 10) were at the crease for India at stumps.