India A v WI A, 3rd unofficial Test, Hubli, 3rd day

Pujara's third triple-century sets up huge lead

Sidharth Monga in Hubli

October 11, 2013

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

West Indies A 268 and 116 for 3 (Deonarine 44*, Fudadin 36*, Pandey 1-11) trail India A 564 for 9 dec (Pujara 306*, Gambhir 123) by 180 runs

Cheteshwar Pujara made his third first-class triple-hundred, India A v West Indies A, 3rd unofficial Test, Hubli, 3rd day, October 11, 2013
Cheteshwar Pujara became the ninth batsman ever, and the second Indian, to score three first-class triple-centuries © BCCI
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Players/Officials: Cheteshwar Pujara
Series/Tournaments: West Indies A tour of India
Teams: India | West Indies

While the fans of Indian cricket were struggling to come to terms with the inevitable retirement announcement of Sachin Tendulkar, wondering what life will be like without him, doubting if things will ever be normal again, Cheteshwar Pujara delivered immediate normalcy in the remote town of Hubli. Resuming the day at 139, he first accumulated, then looted, even as he farmed the strike, and became only the ninth batsman ever, and the second Indian, to score three first-class triple-centuries. His two previous triples came against Karnataka and Orissa

It wasn't a personal pursuit. Pujara's innings gave his side, trailing 1-0 in the series, four sessions within which to force a result. India A declared 296 ahead, and all three of their quicks delivered an early wicket each before the Guyanese pair of Narsingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin saw them through to stumps.

Pujara's innings was just the feeling of serenity and calm that the Indian cricket fan needed. Nothing was done in a hurry, not one shot was uncouth. Pujara scored 60 in the first session, happily lapped up the life given to him in the last over before lunch, then hit away 107 of the 142 scored in the middle session, and declared the innings closed at the stroke of tea. Pujara's control was so comprehensive that he let the last man Ishwar Pandey face only three balls in a 5.2-over-31-run unbeaten partnership. Pujara scored 71 off the last 55 balls he faced.

Outside the usual drives and pulls, Pujara also manipulated the field with a reverse lap and a regulation lap off successive deliveries. How the fielders must have felt mocked. Two of the fielders weren't all that amused when a third bouncer in a Miguel Cummins over was called a no-ball. Ashley Nurse spoke to Pujara for more than two minutes with Chadwick Walton joining in.

Others with three triple-centuries or more

Six overs later - as it happened on day two in the last over before lunch - Nurse had a chance coming his way at second slip, and dropped it. Pujara was 198 then. He took a single off the last ball and went off to sate the lesser of his hungers. When he came back, he had one delivery from Nikita Miller jump at him, but benefitted from the absence of a short leg. A leading edge in the next over fell short of point, but then he tucked one off the hips for his 22nd four and his eighth first-class double-century.

You knew a session of Pujara punishment was around the corner. In the back of your head was his sprint from 150 to 200 in 17 balls when Saurashtra were pushing for a declaration against Madhya Pradesh on the last new year's eve. Here he waited for a bit. Time wasn't quite right yet. With Uday Kaul he added a largely patient 93. Once Kaul got out, the switch was flicked. He was 235 off 360 when he pulled over the infield for a four.

Dhawal Kulkarni scored only six out of a 39-run seventh-wicket stand. Pujara wasn't muscling the ball, but hardly ever hitting to the fielder. At Kulkarni's fall, Zaheer Khan came out and swung a few, so Pujara took the back seat and let him do that. Zaheer's wicket brought another, and Nurse was now on a hat-trick, and Pujara was 273. Pandey played out the remaining two balls of that over, and bought himself a parking ticket at the non-striker's end.

For the next 23 balls, Pujara kept refusing singles, kept placing couples, kept hitting the boundaries, and eventually took a single off the fifth ball to reach 299. Pandey duly played out the last. As the field came up with Pujara on 299, he survived a lbw appeal from Delorn Johnson bowling left-arm quick from round the stumps. He played a scintillating cover-drive off the next ball to bring up the triple. The lead was now approaching 300, the clock was nudging 2.10pm, and the declaration was perfectly timed, merging the 10-minute changeover into the 20-minute tea break.

In the fifth over after the break, Zaheer trapped Powell who played across the line. Four balls later, Kulkarni struck the off stump of a left-hand batsman for the second time in the match, this time Leon Johnson, to make it 18 for 2. Kraigg Brathwaite fought hard, but didn't have the runs to show for the time spent at the wicket, and when he fell lbw to Pandey in the 18th over, the score had reached only 57.

That Deonarine and Fudadin played out the semi-new ball without many alarms made Pujara's innings seem even more significant in terms of time needed to level the series.

The nine members of the triple-triple club

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by android_user on (October 12, 2013, 8:45 GMT)

best of luck pujara

Posted by CRIC_FAN94 on (October 12, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

@Palla.avinash "he can pile sup quick and big runs " what a joke .I doubt if he will be able to score 15 runs of 10 balls if needed . once you see how slowly he played for Rcb

Posted by Dragonboyz on (October 12, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

Gambhir in the team that is not acceptable at any level. He literally thought that his place is secured and didn't play well for past 3 years and now he has a century against West Indies A team and he is in the list. Let him show consistency and the hunger shown by yuvraj then he can get into the side. Also Murali Vijay had 2 centuries in the last test match and there is no reason he shouldnt be included. Leave his t 20 form consider his last test series average it is phenomenal. Also I dont think so Dhoni is going to accept Gambhir that much easily

Posted by   on (October 12, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

Starting XI: A Rahane S Dhawan C Pujara V Kohli R Sharma Y Singh M Dhoni (wk & c) R Ashwin Z Khan U Yadav B Kumar

Extras: R Jadeja S Raina I Sharma A Mishra

Posted by palla.avinash on (October 12, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

pujara averages 56 in list A 3rd highest average in the world after michel bevan and gary ballance.He need to be given chance as a opener in odis instead of rohit sharma who always scores slowly for indian than the required rate and puts team under presure and inconsistent and i insist indian selectors to give pujara immediatly as opener who once settled gets quick and big runs which would make indian team unbeatable in odis while india was chasing.Pujara even scores faastly than many people think he needs to be played a head of rohit sharma who always for himself than team requirments. i hope selectors read my message.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

Never forget about opener VA Jagadeesh's innings and form, he had a splendid last Ranji season and I believe was among the top 3 batsmen in last season. He also had a pretty good List A season, and is in extremely good form. No wonder he is selected and fired right away with the 91 that he scored against NZ A, and here he is again with a fighting 86. Having been in domestic circuit for a long time, he should be having a very good mature head on his shoulders. 2nd tested against W indies his 86 was the foundation, but we unable to dominate. Jaggu, who is yet to get chances in tours with IND A abroad also in Coming series against Windies.

Posted by android_user on (October 12, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

the probable eleven for the tour of south Africa is S Dhawan G Gambhir(openers) C Pujara V Sehwag V Kohli Y Singh M Dhoni(c&wk) B Kumar A Mishra J Khan I Sharma

Posted by android_user on (October 12, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

sir jadeja is best than gambhir or anyone else shikhar will take sehwag place and unmukt must take gambhirs place for better results

Posted by jimbond on (October 12, 2013, 1:55 GMT)

For the tour of Australia, this team would be formidable Dhawan, Gambhir (openers), Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Sehwag, Dhoni, Bhubaneswar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan, Yadav

Gambhir as opener is better than most of the pretenders. He rotates the strike, plays pace and spin well and can also stay on the wicket for long. At number 4, Rohit Sharma will be most suited with his ability to defend as well as force the game. Kohli at 5 would be the key in terms of a rearguard option or building on the starts of the earlier batsmen. Sehwag at 6 would be demoralizing for the opposition, anyway he does not need much time to play out his innings. Amit Mishra would be more of a spin threat than either Ashwin or Ojha or Jadeja. Sehwag or Sharma can provide part time spin options. Yadav is the only one in the Indian team with pace, could be relevant in SA and Australia.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2013, 0:49 GMT)

@Sir_Ivor on (October 11, 2013, 14:54 GMT):

Your are right about Rahane. He is ready to to be picked (for some time). He sure is the best stepney, if either of the new front tyres punctures. Unmukt, Rahul, Jeewanjot, Bawne and a few more in the same class with potential will ripen into fruitful India openers. Now, they are raw; and the mango exporters will tell us; any artificial means to speed up ripening could be cancerous. So, we have to give them chances at many level two matches , wait and watch.

A few mentioned Vijay. Delight to watch, when in flow. But his performance still follow the 'sine curve', up and down. If the sign curve is tuned into a steady upward climb, he is the ideal partner for Dhawan. And Rohit goes back to contention along with Yuvi & Raina for the middle.

Jadeja & Samson are ideal for short formats, as of now. Both can become good test players. Between the two, Samson needs a little more time. If Ashwin doesn't regain form, Jadeja can come in with ease.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (October 11, 2013, 22:55 GMT)

I'm your die-hard fanatic Pujara. Your triple century is all that counts for me. I couldn't care less whether the team wins or not. That's why I didn't go through any other numbers in the scorecard and stopped following this match once the inning was declared. This match is of little significance to me as you are not batting now ;-D. Oops! do I sound eerily similar to certain fanatics who take pride in harboring blatant disregard for a match result?

Posted by ABTheSeclector on (October 11, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

My 5 day team for the future would be (for seaming tracks outside India) -

1. S Dhawan 2. G Gambhir/A Rahane 3. C Pujara 4. V Kohli 5. M Juneja/S Badrinath/Jeevanjot Singh 6. MS Dhoni 7. R Ashwin 8. Zaheer khan 9. B Kumar 10. U Yadav 11. Ishant Sharma 12. Ishwar Pandey 13. Amit Mishra 14. Parvez Rasool 15. Ravinder Jadeja

So I have three openers (select 2), five middle order (select any 3), 4 spinners (play 2), 5 fast bowlers (play 3)

Posted by Cricfever_PM on (October 11, 2013, 19:57 GMT)

Jaddu in that list!!! People should take screen shot and keep it!! Pujara have find some form and his recent demise form got improved!! GG scored one hundred in last three years and people started high on him, he has to get good form and rhythm!! Still i prefer MV over GG for opening spot!

Posted by   on (October 11, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

M Vijay has no tecnique to survive the moving ball.his footwork hardly exists,hits through the line,relies purely on eyesight,he is too late to pick up length and is often beaten by pace even on slower decks... forget abt him,we need gammbhir to find form and confidence,.looks he is ready for comeback.

Posted by kir.vas on (October 11, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

@Jose:-) Sir you are correct but one name you left out Murali Vijay. No one mentioned his name as an opener. Currently people are talking about players who performed in domestic season. What about the last series India performed against Aussies? Do you think his contribution on that particular series is below average? He is a stylish batsman, technically good, he can play both spinners and fast bowlers.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (October 11, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

Good score by the Pujie, quick point this is not a test match against WI, it is WI A(2nd/youth team) and for those comparing to Bradman- he averages about 10 outside of India so get real.

Posted by trueanalyst on (October 11, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

Since November 2012, Pujara has registered three double hundreds and two triple hundreds in first-class cricket. His scores read: 206 not out against England, 203 not out against Madhya Pradesh, 204 against Australia, 352 against Karnataka and 306 not out against West Indies(Source rediff).Phenomenal performance . Pujara, You are only 25 and ur best phase is about to begin. Hope you surpass Sir Bradman's tally. With a first class average of 62 and test average of above 65 you have potential to be the best ever batsman for India.

Posted by android_user on (October 11, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

congratulate Pujara

Posted by makingsillypoints on (October 11, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

Characteristically good article, Sid.

Tangential comment: I choked on my coffee to see Hubli described as a remote town. Combined with the smaller twin city of Dharwad, its population is about 50% more than that of San Francisco or Seattle. In the state of Karnataka, only Bangalore and Mysore are more populous, of which Mysore is only marginally so. Hubli (or Hubli-Dharwad) is economically, socially, culturally, politically vibrant. It's the most important city, all things considered, in the north Karnataka region (especially if one excludes the noisy but essentially unsubstantive political controversy surrounding Belgaum).

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (October 11, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

Ialways like Jose Puliampatta's observations because they are so pithy. After reading his latest views I get the feeling of being part of the selection committee. The fears expressed by Jose are valid but I would like to answer them. There are a number of openers who could play for India. Rahane, Unmukt, Rahul, Jeewanjot, Bawne and Samson are all very good players technically and could play if either Dhawan or Rohit have to be rested.The point is that Indian batsmen have realised that they have to be good in defence and have good horizontal strokes of the back foot to be in the limelight zone.At the moment, I think Rahane is the best because he has excellent technique and temperament. So Jose you will have to weigh in and convince the powers that be about him. The thing to appreciate is that the IPL has helped in our good players becoming world class. If they do not get into the negative aspects of the IPL and 20/20 games, I think it is good that they are getting the self belief.

Posted by   on (October 11, 2013, 14:34 GMT)

good innings from pujara we need much more like that on international level

Posted by cricket-india on (October 11, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

no point playing our first-choice no.3 in an India A match against WI A. would've been better to give the opportunity to another potential no.3 instead.

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (October 11, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

The thing that I missed to mention in my earlier post is that Pujara has this appetite for big scores. Not every one has that. Tendulkar for all his greatness never scored the triple hundreds. But that does not make him lesser. Brian Lara scored 2 Bradman. Sehwag too has 2. The point is that to score triple hundreds one requires a great deal of concentration. Particularly against good bowling.That I think Pujara has in good measure because from what I have read of him, he spends most of his time fine tuning his batting. I know that he played two Test against South Africa when he last went there in 2010. He did not score big as he was expected to do but in the second innings of his first outing in South Africa he stayed very long at the wicket. To me it looked like he was coming to terms with the Capetown wicket and more importantly Steyn and Morkel's bowling. The point is that he has that ability to analyse and make corrections. That is what I would bet on.

Posted by   on (October 11, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

Pujara had been dubbed as the new wall. However, he seems to be more facile in switching gears than the original one. In fact, he played initially as a 'dravid',switched to ODI mold and ended playing a VVS.

We are getting better replacements for some slots. But, I still have worry about the openers. Dhawan is showing better adaptability than Veeru. But, is getting an occasional temptation to succumb to impetuosity. That is worrisome

We have still to see whether Rohit can do well without MI uniform...So we still keep our fingers crossed for a fully settled opening pair.

Next three could be Pujara, Kohli, and Juneja. In case Juneja shows better performance with newer balls, than against spinners, he could be shifted to No.3. He is also capable of doing a Dravid. That takes care of the top FIVE. Number 7 could be Dhoni's.

That leaves a question mark: WHO FITS IN at No.6? If we go for 4 main bowlers, No6. has to be an allrounder. Yuvi? Raina?, Any one else?

Bowlers? Not sure!

Posted by   on (October 11, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

No one had answer to who is after Dravid? This man lights the hope of the next Indian Wall. The surprising fact that he is more aggressive than Dravid. Definitely he is huge asset to Indian Test Cricket after Dravid-Sachin-Laxman-Ganguly era. But I would like to see him in Indian Colors(ODI). Because the current Indian ODI players are regularly playing T20s more than ODIs. And definitely we need a wall in ODIs to stop the wickets fall as well as to build a big innings of 50 overs.

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (October 11, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

Cheteshwar Pujara may not have the boyish charm of Sachin Tendulkar Ibecause he was given his chance at least 4 years after he should have been brought in. In terms of being a perfectionist he is just what Sachin is. I have no doubt about that. technically too he is very good. He has excellent foot work and is good of the back foot.I know there are many who are waiting for him to succeed abroad before they accept him as a possible great of the future.I am sure he will do well because he thinks about his game all the time.

Posted by   on (October 11, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

What a day of cricket for Pujara and Indian Cricket!!

306 runs in 415 with 33 fours, strike rate of 73.73, Salute you are the real leader!!

West Indies A trail by 180 runs with 7 wickets remaining.

Yes! this test in our control now!

Posted by BSWadekar on (October 11, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

Pujara is No. 3 for sure provided that he performs well outside subcontinent. Against likes of Steyn, Philander, Morkel. He is the player who knows how to pace innings in first-class cricket. He should be No. 3 in all formats for India.

Posted by CricketChat on (October 11, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

Pujara needs to play the anchor role from now on with upcoming retirement of Sachin also from tests. Hope he can score big on the big stage, not just first class level like so many domestic giants from Ind in the past.

Posted by   on (October 11, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

Pujara should be apermanent fixture for test matches.

Posted by sudheercric on (October 11, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

Pujara should set his target as 7 triple centuries to surpass Don and become the best. By the way, no single body can replace Sachin Tendulkar. Only a bunch of guys together can replace that sole batsman.

Posted by derpherp on (October 11, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

Interesting to see how he performs OUTSIDE India. Great talent but hasn't shown what he can do away from home.

Posted by Naresh28 on (October 11, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

PUJARA - fierce appetite to score big runs and also his ability to face many balls in an innings, make him a special talent. Another in that mould is newbie Manpreet Juneja.

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