Cheteshwar Pujara scores his 50th First-Class century; enters elite list
India’s famed red-ball specialist Cheteshwar Pujara has started 2020 on a high. The Saurashtra batsman, on Saturday, scored his 50th first-class century in the Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka at his home ground in Rajkot. With that, he has joined an elite list of nine Indians led by Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
He is also the fourth on the list of active players who have most first-class centuries: the list is headed by Essex’s Alastair Cook with 65 centuries, followed by Vidarbha’s Wasim Jaffer with 57 and Surrey’s Hashim Amla with 52.
Among international players, Australia’s Steve Smith has 42 first-class centuries. Pujara's India team-mates Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have 34 and 32 first-class centuries respectively.
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Against Karnataka on Saturday, he walked in at 28 for 1 in the first session and finished the day unbeaten on 162. This is Pujara’s fourth game this Ranji season. Prior to this, he made two half-centuries, against Uttar Pradesh and Railways respectively.
The 31-year-old right-hand batsman made his debut for India against Australia in Bangalore in 2010. He has played 75 Tests for India, averaging almost 50. In ODIs, Pujara has played only five games, scoring 51 runs. He is yet to play T20I cricket and has been bereft of an IPL career too.