Cheteshwar Pujara racks up most runs by an Indian in a first-class season
Published - Feb 9, 2017 7:29 pm | Updated - Feb 9, 2017 7:30 pm
India’s No.3 and the most solid batsman in the star-studded batting lineup Cheteshwar Pujara has had an extremely productive and successful year as a regular in the Test side after finding himself out of favour, at the beginning of the long Test season, in the series against West Indies.
Ironically, Pujara, who established himself in the squad soon after, has gone on to accumulate over 1600 runs in first-class cricket this season, the most by an Indian ever. He already scored a half century in the ongoing Test and will probably bat again along with the 4 Test matches against Australia, and potentially 9 more innings to better his tally and take it closer to an astonishing haul of 2000 runs in one season.
En route his boundary- studded 83 against Bangladesh today, Pujara crossed the landmark of 1604 runs Chandu Borde had amassed. He broke a record that stood for almost 52 years. Although Pujara fell soon after that, he reached the magical figure of 1605 runs in just 21 innings, taking 7 innings less than Borde himself.
The solid No.3, who has a playing style similar to the legendary Rahul Dravid is no stranger to piling runs and spending time at the crease. He also features at No.3 on the list of most runs in a FC season with 1585 runs in 2012-13, narrowly missing out on the record that he broke today.
Pujara has been indomitable, averages almost 90. The season also witnessed 6 hundreds from his bat including the highest score of 256* in the Duleep Trophy. Pujara also boasts of the highest average on the list, with 93.23 in the 2012-13 season, but also averaged 98 in a 2013-14 season during which he got lesser opportunities to hoard a higher aggregate.
While Pujara has always been prolific in home conditions for his state sides as well as India (he averages over 57 in first-class cricket played mainly in India), he is yet to prove himself in overseas conditions. Torrid tours to England, Australia, and West Indies threatened his place in the 11 previously.
But now as Pujara again used the home season to reestablish himself as one of the most dependable batsmen in the side, his real test would be to remain consistent in overseas conditions. His core abilities and batting prowess would come to the sternest test later this year when India go to South Africa to play 4 Tests.