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Pujara's willingness to excel


Cheteshwar_Pujara_India_cricketThe sun is shining, the bowler charges forward to deliver at 100 miles per hour trying to take a wicket. He has tried everything, right from bowling short to swinging it away from the batsman, bowling on stumps to sledging him a few words, but no avail. Cheteshwar Pujara is rock solid in his defence and in complete control.

Such has been the audacity of his batting that he has been sworn as someone who has successfully managed to fill the void left in the Indian batting lineup by the retirement of the greats of yesteryears. Though he has been a one format feature for India, i.e. in the Test side, Pujara has left no stone unturned in proving his mettle and sound technique in the longer format.

First impressions: Cheteshwar Pujara has a calm and composed demeanour. He lacks the briskness of someone like Virat Kohli but boasts a compelling mind and attitude. When he walks out to the crease with his bat, you can witness his hardworking temperament on display. A true gentleman of the game, his absolute hunger for excellence in the 22 yards speaks volumes about the dedication and hard work applied.

However, it took Pujara an extended period of time to rebuild his path. At the beginning of the season last year, things weren't going on so smoothly for India's No.3. He was unable to determine his sheer prominence in the format he excels in. He even got dropped from the side for a brief moment.


He took his time to establish himself as an integral part of the team. The best part of this struggle is that he has managed to handle the lows and disappointments positively. While he wasn't quite upto the mark in the West Indies, it was the home season that got Pujara going.

After presenting his grittiness with three sensational half centuries in the first two Tests against the Kiwis, Cheteshwar Pujara displayed his valour with a century in the final Test. He continued his splendid form with centuries in consecutive Tests against England as India did not lose a single Test in both the series. Then came the neighbours: Bangladesh. And Pujara didn't spare them either, with splendid half centuries in both innings.

But the best was yet to come against those who many Indians would describe as India's arch nemesis: the Aussies. After closely missing out on a century in the second Test, Cheteshwar Pujara batted for an unbelievable 525 balls and scored a double century in the third Test to put India in the driver's seat after it seemed like they were in a dicey position. Though the match ended in a draw, it would be forever remembered for Pujara's marathon stay at the crease.

With his stint, he made sure that he wasn't going to bow down to any kind of pressure. He was ready to push himself to go that one extra mile. His 525 ball stay at the crease is a clear proof of his willingness to contribute in whatever capacity. He managed to achieve his goals within clearly defined timelines just in time when India needed him.


Currently, as the cricketing world is occupied with the T20 extravaganza of the Indian Premier League, Nottinghamshire have roped in the services of Cheteshwar Pujara for the County Championship in mid-May. This session of county cricket in English conditions is going to act as a morale booster for Pujara's prospects as he gears up for his next international assignment. His hawk-like concentration and determination is what makes him the backbone of any batting lineup.

"I’m ready for it. I’m already working on my skills and preparing for competitive cricket”, added Pujara. "I love playing county cricket and Trent Bridge is a great venue. I’m really looking forward to my first experience there as a home player. The aim is to win as many games as possible so the team stays on top of the points table,” Pujara was quoted as saying.

The colossal rendition of his batting has exhibited his class to a whole new level and also seems to have added authority to Pujara's role. What's more pleasing is the fact that he has regained his confidence and this is going to help him amass big runs in the future Tests too.

As the saying goes, 'Work hard in silence, let your success make the noise', Pujara is already up to the task. Only time would determine if this ship sails or drifts.


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