Indian National Cricket team Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara proved the world that there is still place for traditional Test batting in the era of franchise-based T20 leagues. Meanwhile, he was the star for Virat Kohli & Co as they won their first- ever Test series on Australian soil. Pujara stood tall with the bat scoring 521 runs including three-match winning centuries. His masterclass which ran for almost 30 hours and 1258 deliveries will be one of the finest exhibition of Test batting.
However, while Cheteshwar Pujara was belting the Australian bowlers, his mind was back in India. Pujara’s father, Arvind was undergoing heart surgery at the exact moment he was battling in the fourth and final Test in Sydney. Speaking of that time, the number three batsman admitted that the family doctors assured that his father would be fine before the start of the Test. He also revealed that he was in constant touch with her wife Puja, who was taking care of his father.
“Firstly, our family doctors assured me before the Test that he would be okay. He needed the procedure because his heart rate was fluctuating. Dr Patil, who carried out the procedure, was in touch with me and told me to not worry,” Pujara told to the Cricket Monthly.
I am mentally strong
Cheteshwar Pujara revealed that the date of the surgery was on January 3, the first day of the Sydney Test. However, he could focus on his batting as he is mentally very strong. Moreover, he also stated that playing in Sydney during a practice match November helped him a lot to adjust to the condition. In addition to, with tons of runs on his back, Pujara admitted that he was confident of saving the Test for India and also added that he knew that wouldn’t have to work hard to score runs in Sydney.
“The surgery was on January 3, the first day of the Sydney Test. Although it was playing on the back of my mind, I am someone who is really mentally tough, so I could focus on my batting.
“The good thing about that particular Test was that I had scored runs in the series. So my confidence was high. I had already played the practice match at the SCG [in November] so I just wanted to capitalise,” he added.
Seven Runs doesn’t matter
Cheteshwar Pujara missed out on a maiden double hundred in Australia as he fell short by seven runs after battling hard for the team. But it was his father who consoled him and reminded his son that the double hundred was just a number.
“Later that evening my dad told me that the double-hundred was just a number ‘You’ve done the job for the team. Don’t be sad. Seven runs does not mean much, but the job you have done for the team means a lot,” he concluded.
Currently, Cheteshwar Pujara is plying his trade for his stateside Saurashtra and recently took his side to the finals of the Ranji Trophy.