India A captain Cheteshwar Pujara slammed his 3rd triple century in first class cricket today against West Indies A in Hubli, Karnataka, becoming only the 2nd Indian after Ravindra Jadeja to cross the 300-run mark in first-class cricket thrice.
India A is playing the 3rd and final unofficial Test of the series against the touring West Indies A side. On the penultimate day of the 4-day match, Pujara had slammed 306 runs off 415 deliveries with 33 fours until the latest reports came in. At tea, India A had reached 564/9 after 150 overs, in reply to the visitors’ first innings score of 268.
Gautam Gambhir made a century yesterday but was dismissed for 123.
Pujara has now become the 9th batsman in the world to have scored three triple hundreds in first class cricket, joining the list which has some elite names in it – WG Grace, Bill Ponsford, Sir Don Bradman, Wally Hammond, Graeme Hick, Brian Lara, Michael Hussey and Ravindra Jadeja.
His previous triple centuries came against Orissa (302*) and Karnataka (352) in 2008/09 and 2012/13 Ranji Trophy season respectively.
As a skipper, he was under pressure lately to score and his indifferent form had raised a few eyebrows after he failed to score a half-century in the ongoing series.
Prior to the match, he wasn’t too worried about his form and was positive going into the 3rd unofficial Test.
“I didn’t perform to what I have been expected and what I personally feel that I should have done for the team,” Pujara said. “But you learn from your failures, and it’s good that I am failing before the Test matches so that I have got enough time to prepare. There is another game, so I am looking forward to this game. I am working hard in the nets, and I hope that I will be able to perform in the crucial game.”
Trailing 1-0 against the visitors, the pressure was on the captain to come up trumps and this innings signals the return to form at the perfect time for the current No. 3 for India in Tests.