Cheteshwar Pujara

India
Age
January 25, 1988 (33 years)
Role
Batsman
Birth Place
Rajkot, Gujarat
Batting Style
Right Handed
Nationality
India
Bowling Style
Leg break

Biography

Cheteshwar Pujara – full name Cheteshwar Arvind Pujara – was born on 25 January 1988 in Rajkot, Gujrat, India. He is an Indian cricketer who primarily represents India in Test Cricket and has been the architect of India’s first-ever Test series win over Australia in Australia in a 71-year-long history of Test cricket played between the two countries. Pujara represents Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy, India’s prime domestic first-class tournament, and also has a short-term contract with Gloucestershire County.

ICC Rankings

Test ODI T20I
Batting
16
-
-
Bowling
-
-
-

Team played

India, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, India A, India B, India Blue, Indian Board Presidents XI, India Green, Nottinghamshire, Rest of India, West Zone, Yorkshire, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, India Under-19, Saurashtra, Mumbai A, Zalawad Royals, Indians

Batting Career Summary

M Inn NO Runs HS Avg BF SR 100 50 4s 6s
ODI
5
5
0
51
27
10.2
130
39.23
0
0
4
0
T20I
0
0
0
0
-
-
0
-
0
0
0
0
Test
82
137
8
6064
206*
47.01
13647
44.43
18
28
713
12
IPL
30
22
3
390
51
20.53
391
99.74
0
1
50
4

Bowling Career Summary

M Inn B Runs Wkts BBI Econ Avg SR 4W 5W 10W
ODI
5
0
0
0
0
-
-
-
-
0
0
0
T20I
0
0
0
0
0
-
-
-
-
0
0
0
Test
82
1
6
2
0
-
2
-
-
0
0
0
IPL
30
0
0
0
0
-
-
-
-
0
0
0

Cheteshwar Pujara is a right-handed batsman who is known for his ability to stay at the crease to play long innings in tough batting conditions with his sound technique and temperament. Pujara is said to have effectively replaced legendary Rahul Dravid in the Indian squad and he also bats at the same position.

Pujara made the first-class debut for Saurashtra in December 2005 and 5 years later, in October 2010, made his international debut for India in Tests. He is currently placed 7th with 766 rating points in the ICC Test batsmen rankings. He has represented India in a few ODIs as well. Pujara has had to make many comebacks in his decade-long career and has been troubled by injuries often. His away performances have regularly been criticised and his slow running between the wickets has at times become a matter of concern. Yet, with his batting abilities alone, Pujara gets a direct entry into the Indian Test squad.

In the IPL, Cheteshwar Pujara has played for 3 franchises, namely Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). He has not taken part in the IPL since. Pujara’s net worth is estimated to be around USD 2 Million.

Let’s take a closer look at his Test, first-class and IPL careers.

Test Career

Some might say Cheteshwar Pujara was born to play Test cricket. In the modern era of wham-bam batting, he stayed true to Test batting skills and has become a rock for India in Test format at number 3, filling the void left since the retirement of Rahul Dravid. Pujara made his Test debut against Australia in Bengaluru in October 2010 in the second and last Test of the 2-match Test series. He replaced Yuvraj Singh in the squad. He was trapped lbw by Mitchell Johnson in the first innings but made a strong statement with a gutsy 72 to help India win the Test match in the successful fourth-innings chase of 207 runs.

Despite good showing in the first Test, he could not get enough chances to prove himself for a couple of years. Rahul Dravid was still playing for India which limited Pujara’s chances even more. Pujara made a comeback to the team during the home series against New Zealand in August 2012 and registered his first Test hundred – a knock of 159 in the first innings against New Zealand in Hyderabad that went on for about 8 hours. India won that match by an innings and Pujara cemented his place in the Indian Test squad. His next century was even better- an unbeaten 206 – against England in Ahmedabad in 2012. India won the match by 9 wickets and Pujara received his first Man of the Match award in Tests. Pujara registered another century in the same series and became the highest run-scorer for India in that series.

In March 2013, he registered another double hundred, 203, against Australia in Hyderabad and became the second-fastest Indian and 12th-fastest overall to 1000 runs in Test cricket behind Vinod Kambli. He ended the tour to South Africa organised the same year as the highest run-scorer with 280 runs in two Tests. Pujara’s 153 in the Johannesberg Test is still regarded as one of his best innings.

Since then, Pujara struggled with his form for the whole of 2014. In the England tour of 2014, he scored 222 in 10 innings in 5 Tests. In Australia as well, his performances were below the average and, thus, he was dropped from the squad. Pujara made a comeback on the tour to Sri Lanka in the third Test, replacing injured Murli Vijay. He made 145 not out and remained not out until the end. India won that match and the series, while Pujara received the Man of the Match award on a comeback.

Since then, despite some poor performances, especially away from home, Pujara remained with the Indian Test squad. After a drought of about 15 months, around the end of 2016, Cheteshwar Pujara scored 3 consecutive centuries in Tests – one against New Zealand and 2 against England. Pujara continued making runs all over the world.

In December 2018, India played a four-match series against Australia in Australia. Cheteshwar Pujara scored 3 centuries in that series – 123 in Adelaide, 106 in Melbourne in the Boxing Day Test and 193 in Sydney – and helped India achieve a monumental feat of a Test series win (2-1) in Australia for the first time in a 71-year-long Test history between the two countries. Pujara scored 521 runs in 7 innings at an average of 74.42 in one of their best overseas Test series wins.

So far, Cheteshwar Pujara has played 77 Tests in a decade-long career in Test cricket, scoring 5840 runs at a healthy average of 48.66 with 18 centuries including 3 double centuries, 2 of which were scored against Australia and 1 against England. Out of the 18 centuries in Test Cricket, Pujara scored 5 each against Australia and England. The year 2017 was his best one in Test cricket as he scored 1140 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 67.05. Pujara’s home average is much better, at 59.84 in 41 Tests, compared to the away average at 38.20 in 36 Tests. He averages 60.07 in the 16 Tests played in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy so far. Pujara will definitely go down in history as one of India’s prime Test batsmen.

First-Class Career

Cheteshwar Pujara plays domestic first-class cricket for Saurashtra. Aged 17, Pujara made the first-class debut in the only match he played in the 2005 Ranji Trophy against Vidarbha at his home ground in Rajkot. In the next season of Ranji Trophy in 2006, Pujara registered a first-class century, 177 off 329 deliveries, against Tamil Nadu in the Group A league stage.

Pujara hit 203 not out against Madhya Pradesh to help Saurashtra Qualify for the quarterfinals of the 2012 – 2013 Ranji Trophy. In the quarters, Pujara played a marathon innings of 357 runs to get Saurashtra into the semis, thus, showing his brilliant fitness and abilities by scoring double and triple centuries in successive matches. In 2013, Pujara became a batsman with 3 first-class triple centuries, 9th overall in first-class cricket. The 3 triple centuries were the innings of 302 not out, 352 and 306 not out in the 2008, 2012 and 2013 Ranji Trophies.

With 437 runs in 4 matches, Pujara was the leading run-scorer in the 2017 – 2018 Ranji Trophy season. In the next season, Pujara helped Saurashtra reach the semifinals with a knock of 67 not out against Uttar Pradesh in a tall chase of 372 in the fourth innings. In the finals, he scored 131 in the fourth innings to help Saurashtra reach finals for the first time in 6 years.

Overall, Cheteshawar Pujara has played 203 first-class matches including Tests and has scored 15771 runs at 53.64 with 50 centuries and 60 half-centuries. He is fifth-fastest to 50 first-class centuries behind Vijay Hazare, Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sunil Gavaskar.

IPL Career

Cheteshwar Pujara played for 3 different franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in his limited IPL career. He began his journey with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2008 and remained in the IPL only until the end of season 2014 to focus on his commitment to Test cricket.

Although he was with KKR since 2008, Pujara made the IPL debut only in 2010, in a match against Deccan Chargers (DCH) held on 12 March 2010 at DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai. He scored just 10 runs in that innings. Pujara played 10 matches (6 innings) in the IPL 2010 and his first major contribution came against Rajasthan Royals (RR) at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, when he scored 45 not out off 38 deliveries to steer a chase home for KKR.

In the 2011 IPL auction, Pujara shifted base to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) when RCB bought him for INR 3.2 Crore. In his first knock for RCB, Pujara scored a quick 25 off 15 deliveries in a lost match against DCH. He played just 6 games that season and just 3 in the 2012 season. In the IPL 2013, Pujara scored his first and only IPL half-century – 51 off 48 deliveries – opening the batting for RCB against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).

In 2014, Pujara was bought for INR 1.9 Crore by KXIP. He played 6 games for them with 40 not out in a successful chase against RR being his highest score of the season. He did not play in the IPL after that. Overall, Pujara scored 390 runs in 22 innings at an average of 20.53 and a strike rate of just about run-a-ball.

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