The Wall is still intact
Not often it is seen in India that a young batsmen, on a day five track, where the ball can extract turn from anywhere it lands, charge down to a quality off spinner and thrash him for successive boundaries through the covers. A sense of pride was bound to engulf your mind as young Cheteshwar Pujara did the same to Graeme Swann yesterday afternoon in India’s convincing nine wicket win over England in the Ahmedabad test.
Pujara, who made a comeback to the Indian test side after almost a couple of years on the sidelines due to a life threatening knee injury that needed multiple surgeries, has made the most of his opportunities in the two tests against New Zealand and in the Ahmadabad test, where he scored a double hundred.
Pujara does not have the flamboyance of a Virender Sehwag, nor does he have the brashness of Virat Kohli, but he displays an invincible sense of calmness and composure when he is at the crease. There was a lot of talk about who would take the legendary Rahul Dravid’s place at no.3 after his retirement. Pujara, though temporarily, but surely, has put this debate to rest.
He is a classic case of ‘earning a place in the team.’ One certainly must be having something special in him to score four triple hundreds in first class cricket. It is difficult to recollect a single mistake that he made in his double century knock barring that one edge of Graeme Swann, but any other is difficult to fathom. His innings hardly had him hitting anything in the air. Such symptoms make him an ideal reminiscent of an old school test player. Sir Boycott would surely want him to play for Yorkshire some day!
It is still early days in his career, as sadists would point out that he has to score runs when he goes on foreign tours. Agreed that it is a big challenge for him, but by scoring runs on home turf, he has done no harm to his reputation. No other player apart from South African Hashim Amla, comes to my mind, who has an infallible temperament as Pujara has. This makes him an ideal test cricketer.
And so for people, who felt that the wall has collapsed, think again. It was just in need of a new coat of paint, and Pujara has provided that with pleasure. We have just witnessed one of his many double hundreds to come. Let’s hope for another Indian legend in the making.