ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Players / Cheteshwar Pujara
Full name Cheteshwar Arvind Pujara
Born January 25, 1988, Rajkot, Gujarat
Current age 30 years 88 days
Major teams India, Derbyshire, India A, India Green, India Under-19s, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Nottinghamshire, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Saurashtra, Saurashtra Under-16s, Saurashtra Under-19s, Yorkshire
Playing role Top-order batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak
|Test debut||India v Australia at Bengaluru, Oct 9-13, 2010 scorecard|
|Last Test||South Africa v India at Johannesburg, Jan 24-27, 2018 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Zimbabwe v India at Bulawayo, Aug 1, 2013 scorecard|
|Last ODI||Bangladesh v India at Dhaka, Jun 19, 2014 scorecard|
|First-class debut||Saurashtra v Vidarbha at Rajkot, Dec 17-20, 2005 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Yorkshire v Nottinghamshire at Leeds, Apr 20-23, 2018 scorecard|
|List A debut||Central Zone v West Zone at Gwalior, Feb 25, 2006 scorecard|
|Last List A||Karnataka v Saurashtra at Delhi, Feb 27, 2018 scorecard|
|T20s debut||Maharashtra v Saurashtra at Mumbai (BS), Apr 4, 2007 scorecard|
|Last T20s||Gujarat v Saurashtra at Vadodara, Feb 4, 2017 scorecard|
Cheteshwar Pujara's batting is a throwback to eras gone by, not so much in technique - he is unusually bottom-handed for someone who pays his bills through Test cricket - as in temperament. He steps down to spinners but keeps the ball along the carpet, he doesn't tire of scoring runs no matter the opposition or venue, his fitness is more about what is required for batting for long periods as opposed to bulging biceps with tattoos on them.
Son and pupil of former Ranji player Arvind, Pujara grew up piling on big scores even as a boy: a triple-century in Under-14 cricket, and a double against England in Under-19. Yet for years and years Pujara's first-class runs were scoffed at: he played for cricketing backwaters Saurashtra, and Rajkot, his hometown, is known for one of the flattest tracks in India. Pujara worked harder than most to be taken seriously, and his chance in Tests came in his sixth year in first-class cricket, behind contemporaries who had made a name through limited-overs cricket. Pujara grabbed the chance when it arrived: after getting out to a shooter in his first Test innings, he came in ahead of Rahul Dravid at No. 3 and waltzed his way to an excellent 72 in a tricky chase against Australia in Bangalore in October 2010.
Pujara had already scored a triple-century and two doubles before he made his Test debut, but after the debut he injured his knee during an IPL game, which kept him out for much of 2011. When Pujara came back to Test cricket, Dravid had retired, and he responded with centuries against all three touring sides that season: New Zealand, England and Australia, in the process becoming the joint-fastest Indian to 1000 Test runs in terms of Tests played to get there. In between he found enough time to rattle another domestic triple, but people were not scoffing any more. His Test exploits didn't earn him much attention when it came to the limited-overs format, but a breakthrough performance in the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy 2012-13, where he hit two hundreds and a fifty in three innings, put himself firmly in the selector's radar. He was called up to join the India tour of Zimbabwe, but didn't do too much to earn favour.
Meanwhile, Pujara's Test form dipped as he managed only 423 runs in eight Tests in England and Australia in 2014. Pujara had stints with Derbyshire and Yorkshire the next year.
- Read More
- Pujara's running issues reach Yorkshire but Ballance holds firm (Apr 21, 2018)
- Pujara, detached from IPL, muses upon the art of the leave (Apr 11, 2018)
- Kohli, Rohit, Dhawan bag million-dollar BCCI contracts (Mar 7, 2018)
- Agarwal's 90 leads Karnataka to third Vijay Hazare title in five years (Feb 27, 2018)
- Pujara to prepare for England tour with Yorkshire stint (Jan 30, 2018)
ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year 2013
Slow left-arm spinners generally do well in T20s, plus he can also bat a bit. Then why doesn't he stop runs, take many wickets, or bat quicker in the IPL?