Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara continued to shine with the bat in the ongoing edition of the Ranji Trophy. Pujara played 91 innings against Services while playing for Saurashtra and helped the team achieve a total of 462 runs in the first innings. Pujara fell nine runs short of a hundred, which would have been his 62nd run hundred in first-class cricket.
Cheteshwar Pujara also became the second Saurashtra batsman to reach 7000 runs in the Ranji Trophy. It was a tough day with the ball for Saurashtra against Services as while bowling first they conceded 536/7. Service batsman Shubham Rohilla played an innings of 153 runs, while Lovekesh Bansal and Arjun Sharma ended up playing innings of 161 and 101* runs respectively. In the end, Services declared their innings but with the combined efforts of Pujara, Vishvaraj Jadeja and Ankit Vasavada, Saurashtra were able to tie the match.
Coming into bat after being retired injured due to a back injury, Cheteshwar Pujara showed great dedication throughout his innings. Pujara played some brilliant shots during his stay at the crease against Services and also showed his willingness to bowl quality.
Cheteshwar Pujara writes records in Ranji Trophy
Cheteshwar Pujara also completed 20,000 runs in his first-class career in the current edition of the Ranji Trophy. He joined great Indian batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sunil Gavaskar. Pujara also scored his 17th double century of his first-class career earlier this month against Jharkhand. With 535 runs scored in just three innings, Cheteshwar Pujara is currently the second highest run-scorer in the tournament.
Cheteshwar Pujara has been out of the Indian cricket team since the World Test Championship final in 2023 against Australia. India faced a defeat in the final and since then Pujara has not appeared in Tests for Team India. Pujara has been one of the best batsmen for the Indian cricket team in the red ball format.
Cheteshwar Pujara was known to be the ‘new wall’ of the Indian cricket team after Rahul Dravid played the crease with immense determination and concentration. Pujara used to exhaust the opposition players by defending the balls, and there have been many matches where Pujara has played all day without any problem.
These innings came during the 2021 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, when India was playing the series without many big names. Pujara played many decent knocks throughout the series and his determination with the bat ensured that India did not lose any wicket with the bat.
While the Indian team lost against England in the first test in Hyderabad by 28 runs despite leading by 189 runs in the first innings. Indian batsmen like Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer failed with the bat. His failure has once again opened the debate to bring Pujara back into the Test side. Since KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja also missed the second Test, Cheteshwar Pujara will get a chance in the team but the Indian team selectors did not include him in the team.