Note: This article has been written in jest, and is NOT meant to be taken seriously.
What. A. Guy.
All I have heard this past month is "Pujara this" and "Pujara that".
It ends now.
I have held my tongue for too long.
The world deserves, nay, needs to know the truth about the type of man that Cheteshwar Pujara really is.
His list of crimes read like the titles of Mr. Men books.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you the real Cheteshwar Pujara.
M Vijay may have played his last Test Match. KL Rahul was dropped, recalled, and will likely be dropped if Prithvi Shaw is fit to play India's next Test match.
And it is all Cheteshwar Pujara's fault.
Get this: he batted 1258 balls in the entire series.
The only reason he was able to do is because Rahul and Vijay chose to selflessly give him the chance to test himself in tough conditions, against the best bowling attack in the world. They also gave him the chance to essentially hone his game as an opener, and prove that the new-ball bursts could be negated if batsmen applied themselves.
Were they rewarded for this selfless behaviour? No.
Did Pujara not realise that he was making them look bad? He probably did.
Did he care? Nope.
If you are not yet convinced, sample this.
At Adelaide Oval, while the rest of India's front-line batsmen threw their wickets away with simply atrocious shot selection, Pujara dug in and scored 123. Pujara was like that friend who gets full marks in the exam that you failed. Never mind that you failed because you didn't apply yourself, and they scored full marks because they worked hard. Never mind that you were inspired by them, worked hard, and did well on your other exams by following their example.
You blame them for making you look bad, just as I blame Cheteshwar Pujara for making the rest of the batsmen look bad.
India's 2-1 series win in Australia was possible due to not one, but two match-winning centuries by Pujara.
He scored 123 in Adelaide, and 106 in Melbourne.
Now that is all well and good, apart from one teeny problem.
They were match-winning centuries.
Look, scoring centuries in Australia is all right, but match-winning centuries?
It is practically a rite of passage: the valiant but ultimately futile century by the Indian batsman in Australia. So near, yet so far, and all that sort of jazz.
Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli have each scored six centuries in Australia. Do you know how many were match-winning? Zero.
Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath, Rahul Dravid, and VVS Laxman have each scored one match-winning century in Australia. That's right. One.
There are some of you who will think that all this proves is the immensity of Pujara's performance, that scoring match-winning centuries in Australia is incredibly hard work. That this feat must be lauded.
You are all wrong.
It clearly proves that Pujara not only spits in the face of tradition, but is trying to somehow imply that he is better than everyone else.
Mr Poor Role Model
Sample this quote: "As a batsman, you just need to get used to pace and bounce. Playing in different conditions, in South Africa, in England, in county cricket has helped me improve my technique. For me, it's about the right preparation".
Instead of complaining about how tough it is to bat overseas, he pushed himself out of his comfort zone and played overseas to improve his game.
Instead of being content with the fact that while he had not done so well overseas, he had at least scored runs in India, he chose to score 521 runs in Australia.
What sort of message is he sending children everywhere? That you ought to be ambitious, work hard, and do your best to succeed no matter what the circumstances?
Do you want your children emulating Cheteshwar Pujara?
That's what I thought.
Nobody likes a bully.
Cheteshwar Pujara is a bully.
Australia were still reeling from the ball-tampering scandal, their cricketing culture is being scrutinised, and the last thing they needed was a home series defeat.
And then Pujara came along.
Everybody knows that this is a weak Australian team.
David Warner and Steven Smith are not playing.
Their absence is the only reason Pujara scored three centuries, and 521 runs.
It is simply obvious that if Smith and Warner were playing, Pujara would not have scored any runs.
None at all.
And I'm not talking about the ball-tampering.
Smith and Warner are secretly the greatest bowlers in the history of the universe.
Smith started out his career as a legspinner, as the next Shane Warne, and has taken as many as 17 Test wickets.
David Warner has taken four Test wickets.
Pujara is a bully who kicked his weakened opponents when they were down.
Cheteshwar Pujara may have scored all those runs against perhaps the most well-rounded bowling attack in the world, but it is simply obvious that he would have failed against the part-time legspin of Smith and Warner.