If Rahul Dravid was synonymous to ‘The Wall’, today Cheteshwar Pujara is synonymous to ‘The Rock’ in the Indian Cricket Team‘s batting order. Pujara is India’s number 3 – the place which Dravid occupied for nearly fifteen years. He emulates his master in all the qualities he possessed – patience, perseverance and determination other than brilliant cricketing skills.
The 31-year-old, Pujara has played 68 Test matches and have scored 5426 runs at an average of 51.19. He has scored 18 centuries and 20 half tonnes with a highest of 206*.
Today, lets’ read on about the incredible journey and unknown facts of India’s next ‘Mr. Dependable’ – Cheteshwar Pujara.
Cheteshwar Pujara Biography
Cheteshwar Pujara was born on 25 January 1988 in Rajkot, Gujarat to Arvind and Reema Pujara. Both his father and his uncle Bipin were cricketers who played for Saurashtra. He completed his BBA (Bachelors in Business Administration). Pujara was only 17 when he lost his mother due to cancer. His father was responsible for bringing up this young prodigy.
Pujara made his Under 19 debut for India against England in 2005 where he scored a mammoth 211 which helped the team won by an innings and 137 runs. His innings showed the world that they are witnessing a great player being born.
He was picked up for the Under 19 World Cup in 2006 and became the leading run scorer of the tournament with 349 runs from six innings including the half-centuries and a century. However, he was dismissed for a duck in the finals against Pakistan and India lost the match.
In 2013, Pujara became only the ninth batsman to score three first-class triple centuries. In the 2008-09 season, he scored his first triple century – 302* against Orissa and followed it up with a 352 against Karnataka in 2012-13 for Saurashtra. Then in 2013-14, playing for India A against the Windies A, he scored 306*.
In 2017-18, he was the leading run scorer for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy amassing 437 runs in only four matches.
Also Read: Pujara’s recent ICC Test Ranking
Pujara made his Test debut on 9 October 2010 against Australia at Bangalore. In the first innings, he just scored four runs but in the second innings, batting at number 3, he scored a masterful 72. He wasn’t getting a lot of opportunities in the Indian team due to the superlative batting order that India possessed comprising of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.
Pujara got a chance in August 2012 against New Zealand at Hyderabad. He converted the opportunity he got into gold, scoring a brilliant 159. In the next match against Australia in Ahmedabad, he scored a 206, just staking a claim on his spot in the illustrious batting order. He became the 2nd fastest Indian to get to a 1000 Test runs.
Abroad too, he was the lone warrior in the Indian batting order. When most batsmen failed, Pujara stood like a rock. In 2013 against South Africa he scored a brilliant 153 at Johannesburg. He was also awarded the Player of the series for his 280 runs at an average of 70.00.
Pujara time and again reminded captain Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri that he shouldn’t be dropped from the Test side. He played a brilliant knock of 72 along in the third test in Nottingham and ultimately India won the match. Pujara followed it up with an unbeaten 132 at Southampton.
Cheteshwar carried his form in Australia too, scoring 3 centuries on the tour. He scored 521 runs from 1,258 balls – a record in itself, at an average of 74.42. This tour proved to be historic for India as they became the first Asian team to beat Australia in their backyard.
Australian coach Justin Langer said, “I have never seen a batsman watch the ball as closely as he (Pujara) does, and that includes Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. His concentration was a challenge. And we have to keep getting better just like him, all our batsmen and bowlers.”
Though, Pujara never got a lot of opportunities to prove himself in the lower formats of the game, he has become an irreplaceable part of India’s Test Team.
Cheteshwar Pujara Stats
Family & Personal Life
Cheteshwar married Puja Pabari in Rajkot on 13 February 2013.
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According to finapp.co.in, Pujara’s net worth is 13 Crores. He earns an annual income of 4 crores. His net worth includes 3 luxury cars and a house worth 3 crores. His cars include an Audi and a Ford.
Cheteshwar Pujara Records
- Pujara is the second fastest to a 1000 runs by an Indian player.
- Pujara passed 2,000 runs in a year. He scored 2,043 runs at 102.15 in first-class matches in 2013.
- The right-handed batsman’s 222-run partnership with Kohli is India’s third highest in South Africa and their highest in the second innings of a Test in South Africa.
- He has the highest second innings score of 153 by any Indian batsmen in South Africa.
- Most balls faced by an Indian in Test innings: 525.
- He climbed to a career-best number 2 spot in the rankings for Test batsmen after his double century against Australia in March 2017 now he is ranked third.
- Interestingly, he is the third batsman for India, and ninth overall, to bat on all five days of a Test.
- Pujara is the sixth Indian cricketer to score a century in a Tour outside Asia on the first day.
Favourite Batsman: Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Ricky Ponting
Favourite Actor: Amitabh Bachchan, Johnny Depp
Favourite Place : Cape Town
Favourite Singer : Lata Mangeshkar
Favourite Hobby: Listening to old music and watching movies.
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Pujara is a rare selfless player like Rahul Dravid. May he score tonnes and tonnes of runs for the country, not only in India but also abroad.
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