Cheteshwar Pujara leads a lone battle with the Test 100 maiden in England
Cheteshwar Pujara’s hard work reaped a glorious reward on day two of the fourth test against England as he slammed his 15th cent at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Friday.
Pujara’s Century was his fifth against England but the first on English soil after 14 innings in the country. It was also his second score of over 100 outside Asia.
The Century helped India close in the opening rounds, reaching 232 for 9, just 14 points behind.
He is also only the second Indian drummer to score a century in the current series, aside from Indian captain Virat Kohli.
Pujara worked hard all day and spent 210 balls in the crease while hitting with the tails for most of his stroke which also included 11 limits.
Pujara has been under immense pressure to participate in overseas test tours with his England form scanned even before the start of the five-game series at home.
He was even left out of the game XI for the first test with KL Rahul getting the go-ahead at Edgbaston.
India vs England, 4th test day 2: live updates
Even after returning to Lord’s squad, Pujara struggled to start with scores of 1 and 17 in the second test.
But the team gave him another blow at Trent Bridge where Pujara returned to form with a crucial 72-point shot in the second inning, which helped India take a huge lead over England and ultimately won. the match by 203 points.
But his hundred here in Southampton is now the perfect answer to critics who have always felt Pujara is not good enough outside the subcontinent.
A bitterly contested CENTURY for @ cheteshwar1.
BCCI (@BCCI) August 31, 2018
For the past couple of years, Pujara has been one of the mainstaying mainstays for India after Kohli.
In 11 test matches in 2016, Pujara had scored 836 points including three hundred. The following year, Pujara was more phenomenal. In 11 tests in 2017, he scored 1140 points and hit four hundred.
But there was a deeper meaning to these numbers when looked at closely. These races came mainly to the house. In 2016 and 2017, the only test sets India performed away were in the West Indies and Sri Lanka.
In 2018, before the tour in England, India had played four Tests including three in South Africa. Pujara played all four and scored 135 points with just one half-century against Afghanistan.
As a number three batsman, he was expected to score big points on a regular basis. Besides, he was expected to fill Rahul Dravid’s big boots.
Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) August 31, 2018
Prior to this series of Tests, Pujara had only managed 222 runs out of five Tests in England. In addition, as the first test of the current five-game series approaches,
Pujara had a disappointing stint in the county and failed to impress in the practice game against Essex.