Cheteshwar Pujara slams hundred on return to domestic cricket
India’s No.3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara returned to run-scoring ways on Thursday by scoring a century for his state side Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy Group B game against Vidarbha at Nagpur. The 26-year-old had a poor time in 2014, scoring just 483 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 24.15 with a best of 73 against Australia at Adelaide.
He had a particularly poor tour of England, where he scored 222 runs in 5 Tests and following that series, he signed a contract with county side Derbyshire to help tighten his game further.
However, his form didn‘t show much improvement on the tour of Australia later in the year as he could score just 201 runs in the first three Tests at a middling average of under 35 and was dropped for the fourth Test at Sydney.
With that being the case, his innings of 114 off 223 balls on his return to domestic cricket yesterday, albeit against a weak Vidarbha side, will certainly help him get some confidence back. And the fact that Saurashtra were 20/2 and chasing a first innings total of 583 when he walked out to bat would've made the effort even more satisfying.
He was eventually dismissed leg before wicket off the bowling of Akshay Wakhare.
Despite his hundred, however, Saurashtra still have a mountain to climb in pursuit of Vidharbha’s total, having been bowled out for 309.
Vidarbha lead Saurashtra by 282 runs with 10 wickets remaining
Vidarbha 1st innings: 583 for 9 declared (Ganesh Satish 167, S Badrinath 89; K Makwana 4 for 122)
Saurashtra 1st innings: 309 (Pujara 114, S Jogiyani 81; A Wakhare 5 for 89)
Vidarbha 2nd innings: 8 for 0 ( Faiz Fazal 8*)