5 centuries that were overshadowed
In any format of cricket, a hundred is a special milestone for a batsman. The triple figure mark is regarded as a benchmark for judging greatness and hence a hundred is always a memorable affair.
The jumps, the screams, and the tears that follow the hundredth run are cheered heavily by the fans and most of the times, these moments are cherished for ages. Unfortunately, though, in the history of cricket, some centuries have gone unnoticed.
Each of these centuries deserve praise and recognition but due to several reasons, these high-quality batting efforts were overshadowed. Here, we go back in time and recollect the memories of five such great hundreds that were a result of some fine batsmanship but unfortunately, they never received their due credit.
#5 Cheteshwar Pujara: 113 vs West Indies at Mumbai, November 2013
It was a festival, Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell festival. After serving the game for more than two decades, the master finally decided to hang his boots after featuring in his 200th Test. The news stirred the cricketing world and BCCI, in no time, created the perfect atmosphere to bid adieu to the maestro.
A two-match Test series was organised against West Indies with Mumbai as the host for this historic Test. For two weeks, everyone talked about Tendulkar and nobody was in the limelight except the little master.
India’s spin duo of Pragyan Ojha and Ravi Ashwin wrecked the visitor’s batting line-up dismissing them at a paltry score of 182 on the first day of the Test. India’s openers offered a solid start but were out in the same over, bringing Cheteshwar Pujara and Tendulkar at the crease.
Since then Tendulkar took on the centre stage and didn’t disappoint the million eager fans by playing his vintage game. There were cuts, the trademark drives and flicks as well. He soon reached his fifty and fans geared up for a Tendulkar special hundred.
However, on the third morning of the Test, Sammy caught Tendulkar off Deonarine’s bowling and shattered a million dreams bringing the Wankhede to a standstill. The next batsman Virat Kohli cashed in on the momentum and scored a brisk half-century and later in the innings, Rohit Sharma notched up his second Test hundred in as many Tests, ensuring the limelight shifted from one Mumbai batsmen to another.
Also read: The significance of Cheteshwar Pujara
Meanwhile, Pujara kept one end secured with his impeccable defence. The right-hand batsman negotiated the threat of new ball and countered vicious spin extracted by the spinners. His calmness and composed strokeplay allowed him to quietly score runs while the cricketing world had its eyes glued on Sachin.
The Saurashtra batsman scored a boundary in the point region off his first ball and later played a straight drive and cover drive off Shillingford and Gabriel respectively which were as good as the master. He brought up his hundred on the 146th ball and 21 balls later, handed a simple catch to Shillingford on his own bowling.
Pujara scored 113 runs, preventing the West Indies bowlers from dominating the proceedings and helped India build a massive first innings lead.