Cheteshwar Pujara has long been touted as India’s next Dravid. He replaced the legendary No. 3 batsman and has also shaped his game a lot on the lines of The Wall. Having been under scrutiny lately for his slow strike rate, especially when his captain made that fact a public knowledge, Pujara looks seemingly set to answer his critics and repay Kohli’s faith by doing what the situation demands.
After having a choppy couple of seasons, he is now looking in good touch, which was especially visible in how he controlled his pace against England’s bowling attack in the first innings of the first test. Striking above 60, when nearly everyone else had strike rates around 40, showed just how seriously he respects Kohli’s mandate.
The following is a statistical look at Pujara’s career across formats so far.
#1 Highest run-scorer in the U-19 One-Day World Cup
Pujara may not be the fastest run scorer, but can be a really handy bat in the longer version of the limited overs format. His List A average of 54.12 is not an easy feat by any means, but before he became India’s Number 3 in Test cricket, Cheteshwar Pujara was busy knocking bowlers all over the park in U-19 One-Day cricket.
The Saurashtra batsman was the leading run-scorer with 349 runs in 6 matches (1 century and 2 half-centuries) in the 2006 U-19 World Cup, at a brilliant average of 116.33.
Despite India losing in the final to Pakistan, Pujara was adjudged the Player of the Tournament, and that’s a huge feat especially given how Pujara has been branded as a typical ‘Test-cricket only’ batsman.
That particular edition of the U-19 World Cup also featured some other big names in international cricket like Rohit Sharma, Eoin Morgan, Dean Elgar, Aaron Finch, Mushfiqur Rahim, Moeen Ali, Shakib Al Hasan, Usman Khawaja, and Angelo Mathews, which makes his achievement even greater.