It isn’t easy to please Ian Chappell but Indian mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara did just that in the ongoing series against Australia. The top-order batsman consumed more than 1200 deliveries and ended up scoring three tons in the 4-match series. He tested the patience of the Australian bowlers before the hosts went into submission. For the first time in the history, India are hours away from clinching a Test series Down-Under. And Pujara deserves chunk of the credits.
Cheteshwar Pujara earns a new admirer in Chappell
As per Chappell, Pujara’s impact was far more than just taking the shine of the new ball. The former cricketer said Pujara made things wasy for the likes of Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari as they could play their shots freely after a stable set-up was made. “Not only did Pujara single-handedly bring the Australian bowlers to their knees, he also paved the way for his team-mates to deliver the killer blows,” Chappell wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo.
He went on to say that Virat Kohli may well be the king of Indian cricket but Pujara has proven to be his loyal ally. Chappell adds that the Indian gentleman deserves many privileges in Kohli’s kingdom. “Kohli may be the king of Indian cricket but Pujara has proven to be his loyal ally and worthy of many privileges in the kingdom. Many good things have happened for India in this series, not the least of them being victory, and most have emanated from the stubborn defiance of Pujara.”
Pujara’s performance and Gavaskar’s heroics
Chappell also compared Pujara’s feat to that of Sunil Gavaskar. The former Indian had scored three centuries in Australia in 1977-78 tour. Pujara made a total of 521 runs and spent 1867 minutes at the crease, facing 1258 deliveries. He is certainly a top contender for the player of the series award.