Cheteshwar Pujara – The Modern Oldie

A perfect V-shape grip reassured ball after ball. Hard hands & Soft hands adjusted every ball. Staying put or running down the wicket, focusing only on each ball at a time, and determined body language… are some of the key virtues of India’s least celebrated legend, Cheteshwar Pujara. If this is not the intent in test cricket, nothing else is. As he celebrates his birthday today – 25th Jan, this blog is a tribute to India’s modern oldie…!!

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Cheteshwar Pujara – The second wall…

Ever since he appeared on the first-class circuit, few had a doubt that he’ll play for India. In fact, many had compared him with Rahul Dravid – A wall, one of India’s greatest batsmen. Subsequently, he was touted as India’s second wall, like for like replacement of Rahul Dravid. And dare I say, he hasn’t disappointed many. Let’s look at some stats here…

6111 runs

at an Avg. of ~48

across 136 innings

18 centuries & 28 half ones

However, these aren’t too important numbers…

it is 13572 balls he faced … grinding bowlers across the world… Stuff of legendary.

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Che Pu: Epitome of Self-belief

Throughout his career, Cheteshwar Pujara has flaked the criticism for his batting approach in the modern-day game. In fact, he has been dropped from the test side once, In spite of all that, he never changed his game. More importantly, succeeded to India’s most reliable test batsman in the 2010s, with the same methodical approach.

There were few and far who gave a percentage to  India’s consecutive test series win in Australia, once Virat Kohli announced his decision of paternity leaves after the first test. But Cheteshwar Pujara, stood tall yet again, putting a high price on his wicket, allowing 10 others to build an innings around him. The result: one of India’s finest series victory down under… yet again build around the same man. Most importantly, with the same method that has invited criticism over the years. If this is not the epitome of self-belief, nothing else is.

And yes, I am not going to talk about the body blows he took in the Brisbane victory recently. Because it is his answer to his critics in the most brutal way…

In world #1 bowler Pat Cummins’ words: Pujara can bat and bat and bat… I wish him that he keeps batting on…

Happy Birthday Cheteshwar Pujara, the modern oldie of test cricket…

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