November 27, 2012

Indian cricket

The making of Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara is India's leading batsman in the ongoing Test series against England. He's overcome serious injuries and other off-field challenges to get where he is. Akshay Sawai, for Open Magazine, travels to Pujara's home town Rajkot to find out what went into the making of one of India's most promising young batsmen.

At the Pujaras, it was lights out by 9 pm. If Rina had pending work, she would get up after everyone was asleep and quietly complete it. For years she did not go to even see a navratri garba, a big occasion in Gujarat. If relatives called to say they were in town and asked Rina to meet them in the evening, she would refuse because Cheteshwar would have practice in the morning.

Arvind's other non-negotiable rule for those wanting to raise champions concerns diet. "There should be no fast food at home," he says. "Food has to be healthy. My wife handled that. She ensured there was coconut water for Cheteshwar every time he came back from practice. These are small things but in the long run they pay. He batted eight-nine hours [8 hours, 33 minutes] in this innings. We are vegetarian. Where did he get the stamina from?"

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