Cheteshwar Pujara a ‘modern-day Buddha’, says MSK Prasad
"You can rate him as one of best in Test cricket."
Published - Jan 8, 2019 2:32 pm | Updated - Jan 8, 2019 2:32 pm
Cheteshwar Pujara just has had the best time of his career Down Under where he slammed three splendid hundreds to help India win a historic series in Australia 2-1 and picked up the man of the series award. Wishes have poured in thick and fast for the rock-solid No.3 batsman but perhaps no eulogy was as unique as the one which was uttered by chief selector MSK Prasad. The former India wicket-keeper called the soon-to-turn-31 as “modern-day Buddha” after his stellar show with the willow.
Pujara scored 521 runs in seven innings in the series and hit a fifty besides three centuries, ending up as the top run-getter from either side by quite a distance. A cricketer whose playing style resembles the vintage art of batting and is not seen among the glitzy shows in tournaments like the Indian Premier League, Pujara saw a kind of revival in the Australia tour ensuring that his brand of cricket is still not extinct.
According to Prasad, the Saurashtra cricketer is turning into a role model for young cricketers who is set to inspire a generation of Test-friendly cricketers considered endangered species in the T20 era.
‘At the crease, Pujara goes into trance’
“Pujara is actually a living Buddha. That’s what I can say about his performances in Australia. The moment he gets to the crease, he goes into a trance, a meditation mode. The hours and hours of time he has spent in domestic cricket has fructified,” Prasad told India Today on Monday.
It was less than two years ago when Pujara bettered Rahul Dravid’s record of playing the longest innings as an Indian in Tests by negotiating 505 balls for scoring 202 against the same Australia at home. His latest 193 scored in Sydney came in 373 balls, raising the number of deliveries he played in the just-concluded tour to over 1,100.
“You can rate him as one of best in Test cricket. He is also being seen as one among the last generation of traditional Test cricketers. I am sure so many cricketers would have taken inspiration from Pujara. And credit should go the BCCI and Virat Kohli for giving importance to Test cricket. Pujara is also a role model today,” Prasad said.
Things were however less rosy for Pujara even a few months back when India toured England. There was speculation that the batsman’s place in the team was not certain and his missing the first Test in Birmingham gave a firm shape to the belief that he wasn’t fitting into the scheme of things.
Times have changed now though.
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