Cheteshwar Pujara is coming off a brilliant outing in Australia where he showed immense guts, mental fortitude, and character to help India script a memorable Test series win Down Under.
His average of 33 might not reflect what Pujara did in Australia but those who saw the Indian No.3 bat, would agree that it was him that held the Indian batting together against a relentless Australian pace-attack.
Pujara might not have scored a Test hundred since his 193 against Australia at the SCG in January 2019, but he has notched up several half-centuries within the said time frame.
The Indian No.3 is a different beast when it comes to playing on home soil. Since his debut in late 2010, no one apart from Virat Kohli- 3558 runs in 60 innings at an average of 68.42- has scored more runs in India than Cheteshwar Pujara.
In 62 innings, Pujara has scored 3395 runs at an average of 60.62 which includes 17 50s and 10 hundred.
And, England has witnessed what Cheteshwar Pujara can do from close quarters. Since 2010, Pujara is the second-highest run-scorer against England on home soil.
In 15 innings, he has racked up 839 runs at an average of 64.53 which includes 1 fifty and 4 hundred.
Root, who has watched Pujara from close quarters as an opposition player and as his fellow teammate at Yorkshire, heaped high praise on the Indian No.3 ahead of the Test series.
“I think he is a fantastic player. I had the pleasure of playing alongside him at Yorkshire. To learn from him, speak to him about batting and his love of the game, it was very interesting. So, having played against him as well, on the wrong end of him making some huge scores and been out there for long periods of time, you know, you learn from those kind of innings, and you see the importance that he adds to the Indian team, and he is going to be a huge wicket for us. There is no doubt about that. It is going to be a great challenge to come up against him,” Root said on the eve of the first Test.