Cheteshwar Pujara, Harmanpreet Kaur nominated for Arjuna award

Cheteshwar Pujara, Harmanpreet Kaur nominated for Arjuna award

Pujara was nominated for the Arjuna Award for his contributions in the recently concluded home Test season.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India’s Test No. 3 Cheteshwar Pujara enjoyed a great home season scoring 1316 runs in 13 Test matches. The Saurashtra batsman gave India solidity with his gritty knocks and was also the highest run scorer for India during the home season.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) rewarded Pujara for his fine performances recently by nominating him for the prestigious Arjuna award.

Besides Pujara, Indian woman cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur was also nominated for the same award. Kaur was in great form and helped India win a T20 series in Australia and Asia Cup. She was also a part of the Woman’s Big Bash League, where she represented Sydney Thunder.

“We have sent Cheteshwar and Harmanpreet’s name for the Arjuna award. The names have been forwarded to the Ministry of Sports. Both have been exceptional performers during last season and were unanimous choice from our end,” a senior office bearer told PTI on Monday.

Despite excellent performances at the Test level, Pujara failed to get an IPL contract. His modus operandi may not suit the slam-bang version of cricket but he can be effective in the format if given an opportunity.

Pujara was strangely dropped from the Test XI in 2015 but made a strong comeback in the Sri Lanka series scoring a match-turning unbeaten 145 which subsequently helped India win a series in Sri Lanka. He was dropped again during the Test series in the West Indies but again made a remarkable comeback to top the batting charts during the hectic home season.

The 29-year old scored 4 centuries and 8 half centuries in 23 innings between September 2016 to February 2017. In 48 Tests, Pujara has amassed 3798 runs at 51.32 which include 11 centuries and 15 half-centuries. A lot has been said about his strike rate which is irrelevant in the longest format of the game, though his career strike rate of almost 48 is not too bad.