A synonymous relation of class and patience is a rarity in the 21st century. In simpler words, finding the traits of talent and patience in a single person can be a tiring session of disappointment. The game of cricket has seen gentlemen with exuberance and class come up with knocks that required the hard grind of patience against potent bowling attacks on pitches that could make any spectator’s mouth go dry. However, times seemed to have changed drastically with the chants of making the game shorter beginning to make some noise. Searching for a Dravid or a Lara during these times and getting one would probably seem like a miracle. And the miracle comes from the state of Saurashtra; Cheteshwar Pujara.
With a perfectly calm demeanor and a soothing approach towards the game, Pujara has made the most of the skills that he possesses. His range of shots may not be a joy to watch for the new-age cricket fan but the solidity of his defense makes him, a necessity for the Indian test team. While he might remind a few of Rahul Dravid who had made the number 3 position his own, Pujara is a completely different cricketer than the former Indian skipper. He doesn’t own the talent that many of his contemporaries continue to waste but toils hard on the 22 yards to get his runs and frustrate the opposition.
The 27-year old cricketer, who made his debut in 2010 at Bangalore against an Australian side that was in transition, has played 50 test innings in the 5 year long career that he has had, and averages an enviable 49. With seven hundreds and six fifties to show in 28 test matches, his case should be loud and clear for the captain and the selectors that the team needs him more than he needs the team in the game’s longest format.
Cheteshwar Pujara’s Sri Lankan chapter
While he has two double hundreds to show his hunger for big scores, his vulnerability on reactive surfaces has been a major issue of concern. Returning after a long overhaul from international cricket though, Pujara stomped authority in the only test match that he got to play in. With his last hundred back in 2013 against South Africa, this knock must have done a world of good to his own confidence. Analyzing his innings against Sri Lanka, one found that his strike-rate becomes reasonably steady as he crosses the initial hurdle of fifty.
In the recent test series against Sri Lanka, the need of a solid sheet anchor at the top order was clearly visible and despite Kohli refusing to accept that aggression too, needs some defense. Playing in the third test as an opener, his show in the first innings was delightful amidst falling batsmen at the other end. Becoming the fourth Indian to carry his bat, his score of 145 not out, was a clear indication that problems do not deter this man. He may have had a string of failures overseas with only a hundred at Johannesburg to show; writing him off would only bring misery. Cheteshwar Pujara is fate’s answer to Virat’s vision towards a world beating team. Sportwalk lauds this man who belongs to a category of batsmen who are struggling to exist.