Gritty Knocks Which Define Cheteshwar Pujara

72 vs Australia at Bangalore 2010 After waiting for an opportunity and toiling for five long years, Cheteshwar Pujara finally got his chance against Australia in the second Test in 2010. His long-awaited debut though did not start well. After waiting with his pads on for nearly six hours, A shooter claimed Cheteshwar Pujara for […]

Gritty Knocks Which Define Cheteshwar Pujara
  • Cricket Winner | February 16, 2023 | 5:18 am

72 vs Australia at Bangalore 2010

Gritty Knocks Which Define Cheteshwar Pujara
After waiting for 5 years, Cheteshwar Pujara finally had his opportunity.

After waiting for an opportunity and toiling for five long years, Cheteshwar Pujara finally got his chance against Australia in the second Test in 2010. His long-awaited debut though did not start well. After waiting with his pads on for nearly six hours, A shooter claimed Cheteshwar Pujara for four in his first innings.

See Also: IND vs AUS Dream11 Prediction, Fantasy Cricket Tips, Probable Playing XI, Pitch Report & Injury Updates For 2nd Test – Cricket Winner

In the second innings though, Pujara got his opportunity to go out to bat at number three, in place of his idol, Rahul Dravid. The move to try him at number three served well as Pujara eventually made that spot his own. Unlike his normal style of play though, Pujara came out with intent and looked to race towards a target of 207. He took the bowlers on, made 72, killed the chase and took India close to the target as his dream of making a mark in the Indian Team finally began.

153 vs South Africa at Johannesburg 2013

Gritty Knocks Which Define Cheteshwar Pujara
With questions over his ability overseas, Pujara rose to the occasion with an incredible 153 on his second tour of South Africa.

Pujara’s overall record overseas may not be as good as his home record. The star number three though has so many knocks overseas, which proves that he is more than just numbers. His 153 in Johannesburg in 2013 is one such innings. It was his second tour to South Africa and Pujara had a point to prove. On his first visit, facing pacy conditions for the first time in 2010, with Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel coming at him Cheteshwar Pujara was all at sea.

In 2013, with some experience on his side, Cheteshwar Pujara came back a different player. He faced the same deadly duo and looked a lot more assured. His partnership with Virat Kohli put India in a commanding position as the partnership also marked the start of an important partnership for Indian Cricket. He went on to make 153 runs, handling the bowlers well, and waiting for his chance, which he took when the likes of JP Duminy and Imran Tahir came on.

92 and 202, vs Australia at Ranchi and Bangalore in 2017

Cheteshwar Pujara kept India in the series on his own with two defining knocks in 2017

The 2017 Border Gavaskar Trophy remains one of the best series between the two sides. With India trailing in the series, and trailing in the Test at Bangalore the heat was on. Virat Kohli was dismissed, Murali Vijay wasn’t in the eleven, and Rahane joined him when India were leading by a mere 33 runs on a spitting track which kept dishing out shooters. The duo though proved to be as dependable as ever. They kept the shooters out, and blunted the spinners with Pujara going on to make a crucial 92. The track was getting tougher but Pujara hung around, batting with a lot of character. His knock kept India in the game and series as they had enough to win the Test Match.

After keeping India in the series, Cheteshwar Pujara went on to frustrate the Australians with a resilient display at Ranchi. With the Australians fighting Tooth and Nail, India were again in a tough situation. An incredible century from Steve Smith saw Australia get to 451. In response, India started decently. Pujara built a good partnership with Murali Vijay, but with Virat Kohli injured the heat was on. After lunch, on day three, India lost Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair quickly.

Cheteshwar Pujara though grounded the Australian bowlers again. He kept kicking away deliveries that were outside leg, wore blows and single-handedly told the Aussies that they’d have to go over his dead body to win the Test. He played his longest Test innings, irritating Nathan Lyon yet again, facing 525 balls for his 202.

50 vs South Africa

Gritty Knocks Which Define Cheteshwar Pujara
On a treacherous track, Pujara played out 54 balls to get off the mark

The Johannesburg Test in 2018 was clear evidence of Cheteshwar Pujara’s reliance and stubbornness to stay at the crease. Few overs into the Test it was evident that runs on the track they were playing on was a mere illusion. The ball was jumping and a laying low of the same length, giving the batters a lot of nightmares. Pujara though, with a bad series behind him stuck to his methods. He did not offer his edge, kept wearing balls onto his body and looked as ugly as ever. He took 54 balls to get off the mark and went onto make his slowest half-century, hanging around on what was one of the toughest and treacherous pitches to bat on.

123 and 193 vs Australia at Adelaide and Sydney, 2018-2019

Gritty Knocks Which Define Cheteshwar Pujara
Pujara’s first century in Australia came in trying conditions with Pujara running out of partners on the other end.

India came to Australia in 2018 with their best chance of beating Australia in Australia ahead of them. Smith and Warner were out, and it was all in India’s favor. The tables though turned quickly. The pace trio of Australia had India struggling at 3-19. Pujara though was intact. It was his second time in Australia, after an average time in 2014. The heat was on, but Pujara quickly showed his improvement over the years. He did a lot of homework before coming into the tour, and looked very comfortable against the bounce. His approach against Nathan Lyon was a notable stand-out. Frustrating the pacers, Pujara held out an end, making his 50 in 153 balls, before he changed gears handsomely.

After his 50, Pujara took the bowlers on. With partners running out, he used his square-cut well against pace and also took Lyon nicely. He finished with 123, hit two sixes, and played possibly his best knock overseas as Pujara single-handedly took India to 250, which turned out to be enough for them to win the Test. Later in the series, with another century in Melbourne, India and Pujara went to Sydney leading in the series.

In Sydney, with the Australians already going through the motions, Pujara grinded and grinded hard. He made 193 runs, and absolutely got on the nerves of the Australian bowlers. During the course of the innings, Nathan Lyon went to the extent of asking if he was bored after batting for so long. His exploits in that series earnt him the player of the series award.

55 vs Australia at Brisbane

Gritty Knocks Which Define Cheteshwar Pujara
Offering his body, Pujara played a huge role in India’s Gabbatoir Breach

The 2021 tour to Australia was memorable for many reasons. Pujara was one of the few players who made it through without too many injury concerns. At Brisbane, with a target of 329 and a day to bat out the heat was on. The Test had a large number of Indian youngsters stand up while Pujara, the old-timer in the group played a knock with as much resilience and character as some of his best. He took ten blows to the body, battered on the fingers, chest, shoulders and also took a blow to the helmet. He still battled his way through and helped India take the game deep as they batted with freedom later in the innings with the target closer and a draw looking like a safe option if things got sticky.