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Feature

In Case You Missed It: Cheteshwar Pujara marks a milestone, India go one up, the WPL is locked and loaded

Our best content from the week gone by

The players greet each other after India's innings victory, India vs Australia, 1st Test, Nagpur, 3rd day, February 11, 2023

India skittled Australia for 91 in the second innings, their lowest Test innings total in India  •  Getty Images

The Women's World Cup is at the halfway mark with the semi-finals next week and Australia have gone undefeated so far with a spot in the final four a near certainty. India and England could stake a claim as well, even as they come up against each other today. In India, Australia men's much-vaunted planning was left in tatters after an innings defeat in the first Test, and in New Zealand it's a homecoming of sorts for Bazball and Ben Stokes, who will look to extend England's win streak. The PSL is up and running, and the women's IPL has its first teams. Here's all the big stories and events from this week.
Dazed Australia search for answers after first-round knockout
Australia were handed a drubbing in the first Test against India, losing by an innings. Alex Malcolm says Australia thought they could not be faulted for preparation, but it seemed to make no difference to the outcome. However, he cautions them against making wholesale changes based on one defeat. Australia were banking on Lyon to come good, but Ashwin danced circles around them - it's his ability to reinvent himself and add new layers to his skillset that gave India the edge, says Karthik Krishnaswmay. What else do India have going for them? Lower-order muscle and the ability to take games deep. Ian Chappell says Australia need to cut out the noise around the allegations of pitch-doctoring and gamesmanship and focus on adapting to Indian conditions if they are to have any success in this series.
WPL - How the five teams stack up after the auction
The much-anticipated WPL auction is done and some big names have slotted predictably into sides - RCB got Smriti Mandhana and Ellyse Perry; Mumbai picked Harmanpreet Kaur; Deepti Sharma went to UP Warriorz. Sampath Bandarupalli has all the stats and numbers from the historic auction. Vishal Dikshit caught up with former Indian captain Mithali Raj, the mentor for Gujarat Giants, who believes women's cricket is now sustainable for young girls in India. Alan Gardner too is happy to welcome the ladies aboard the gravy train and to the many joys franchise cricket has brought to the men's game, including censure for choosing club over country, early retirements, and months spent in hotel rooms playing on the Xbox.
Cheteshwar Pujara: 'My passion became my profession'
The Delhi Test against Australia marks a milestone for Cheteshwar Pujara - his 100th Test. He spoke to Nagraj Gollapudi ahead of it about the qualities that have made him the player he is, and looked back at his top innings. His team-mate, R Ashwin, spoke about what makes Pujara so resilient, his method, and the nickname he has for him. S Rajesh looks at how Pujara's contribution to the side has been so much more than just the runs he scores, while Karthik Krishnaswamy says it feels like no one in the history of cricket has batted quite like Pujara.
Bangladesh's Below-Par League needs an overhaul, and quick
As the BPL wound up, Mohammad Isam had some scalding criticism of it - the poor (or no) planning, a shambolic DRS set-up, and player misconduct made it another forgettable season.
What about the fans? BCCI could have avoided the Dharamsala mess
News broke this week that the third Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test was to be moved out of Dharamsala on account of the ground not being ready yet. Karthik Krishnaswamy says it's doing the fans a disservice when there was ample evidence when the India-Australia schedule was announced that there would be doubts over the venue.
Mary Waldron always wanted to play a World Cup, but she didn't think it would be in cricket
The Ireland keeper and umpire spoke to S Sudarshanan about how she came to cricket after nearly making it in football.
Devika Vaidya has fought her fears, beaten them, and is now a step away from her World Cup dream
Vaidya is the veteran of three World Cups now, without ever playing a game. Shashank Kishore spoke to her before she made her World Cup debut in South Africa - she talked about investing in a cricket academy, for herself and for others, to make it at the highest level.
From working at her father's farm to bowling to the best, Marufa is out to win the world
Firdose Moonda on how life has taken a turn for the better for the 18-year-old fast bowler from Bangladesh in the last two months.
From Headingley 1948 to Mount Maunganui 2022: travelling through time to witness the best matches
In the second part of the fantasy travelogue, Anantha Narayanan revisits iconic matches in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies and England.
How many father-son pairs have scored double-hundreds in Tests?
And how often have both captains produced double-centuries in a first-class cricket match? Steven Lynch has the answers.
Which team skittled Sydney Thunder for the lowest-ever T20 total of 15?
How closely did you follow the glut of T20 cricket over the last couple of months? Take our quiz and Test your knowledge.
Watch: What makes Harmanpreet Kaur angrier - no-balls or dropped catches?
And does she prefer Virat Kohli's captaincy style or MS Dhoni's? We get the India captain to make some tough choices.
Watch: Would Steven Smith rather win the ODI World Cup or the World Test Championship?
The answer might surprise you. We also asked the Australia batter which nickname he prefers, whether he'd rather play tennis or play the guitar, and more.