India news January 10, 2013

Pujara completes triple ton on ODI eve

ESPNcricinfo staff

Cheteshwar Pujara, who is part of India's ODI squad, has completed a triple-century for Saurashtra in their ongoing Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Karnataka in Rajkot, on the eve of the first one-dayer against England which is also in the same town. MS Dhoni, however, said it was unlikely that Pujara would play the first ODI.

"It looks very unlikely as of now because we have to see the whole batting line-up, the position he's ideally suited for and all those things," Dhoni said a day ahead of the first ODI. "As of now, it looks very unlikely. Let's see what happens tomorrow. If somebody gets unfit, we'll see."

As the rest of India's one-day squad practised at the SCA Khandheri Stadium, Rajkot's new international venue, Pujara resumed his innings on 261 at the Saurashtra University Ground and went on to reach his 300 off 356 deliveries on the fifth morning. His innings had helped Saurashtra secure their semi-final berth. He was eventually dismissed for 352 as Saurashtra closed made their second highest score in the Ranji Trophy.

"My plan was to get some practice for the ODI. Once I was set, once I scored my hundred I was in a positive mood and our team was safe," Pujara had said after the third day. "Even if I would have got out, we were still safe to qualify."

His inclusion in India's squad for the first three matches against England was his maiden ODI call-up, and it had come at the expense of Virender Sehwag. Pujara was India's best batsman in the Test series against England and was picked in the limited-overs team after India lost the ODI series to Pakistan.