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Time to shine that sedate record with quintessential class, Pujara?

In the Indian Cricket tour to West Indies, one man who missed out on a huge scoring opportunity on a very scorable West Indian wicket was Cheteshwar Pujara.

DT
Last updated: 30.08.2019
Time to shine that sedate record with quintessential class, Pujara? | Sports Social Blog

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When the Indian team made light work of the West Indians in the First Test, inflicting upon the hosts a 318 run victory, a lot of light was shed on the batting masterclass served by Ajinkya Rahane.

 

That India were dismissed under 300 in the first inning and still managed to register an emphatic victory with a day remaining in the Test was partly owed to commendable batting by the visitors and partly, down to sheer spineless cricket displayed by the hosts.

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Among the other leading lights responsible for orchestrating a run-rout of the West Indians were Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari. But one man who missed out on a huge scoring opportunity on a very scorable West Indian wicket was Cheteshwar Pujara.

 

For someone who has to his credit an exceedingly bright tally of 5400 plus Test runs, that includes 18 hundreds, you get a feeling that the Rajkot batsman has still got a lot of catching up to do in the runs department against the West Indies.

 

That he was able to bat out a little over 9 overs, collectively facing no more than 57 deliveries left a bitter aftertaste when one ran through the process of how India belittled the West Indies at their own backyard.

 

His scores of 2 in the first inning, followed by a somewhat improved but lowly 25 meant that by all accounts, as Pujara enters Jamaica, there would only be one thought flickering in his mind.

 

It would be to get up a good score finally in the Caribbean. To his advantage, he’s got 2 innings to have a go before he leaves the West Indies with some fine innings.

 

What surprises you most about the eternally dogged batsman is that he’s someone who’s scored runs all over the world. Just earlier this year, one saw the impact that Pujara can single-handedly bring into a contest particularly when the likes of Kohli endure a rather sedate outing in Australia.

 

Last year, battling a rather rough patch of form, Pujara was able to conquer inner demons as he stroked his way to arguably the most underrated ton of his Test career, when he struck the 135 against England at Southampton.

 

Implicit in his lone act of valiance was the curtailing of the deficit to England. In so doing, he also raised his 5th Test ton against a quality attack featuring Anderson and Broad.

 

Prior to that, Pujara, in his first outing to the Protea land, fired a useful hundred in South Africa against a Steyn and Morkel-powered attack.

  

In that sense, when one introspects how India’s otherwise dependable number 3 has fared against a banal bowling attack like the West Indies’ where none (realistically) beside Kemar Roach seems to surprise batsmen, you are left desiring more from the mild-mannered Cheteshwar Pujara.

 

Of his 5400 plus Test runs, only 315 have come against Jason Holder’s team from 8 Tests. This includes a hundred he scored nearly half a decade ago in home conditions.

 

Time to shine that sedate record with quintessential class, Pujara?

 


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