The rise of Cheteshwar Pujara coincided with the fall of Rahul Dravid, as Team India prepared for some big-ticket exits in the 2010s. Although Sachin Tendulkar was set to stay, the pressure created by the next generation of Test match batters—Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Pujara—was felt by names like Dravid and VVS Laxman.
In this context, Pujara made his debut against Australia in Bangalore at the age of 22. He played a quick-fire knock of 72 runs off just 89 balls, alongside the Master, to help India chase down a tricky 207-run target and win the series 2-0. However, this was not the Pujara we would see in the coming decade. Instead, it was his ability to hunker down and blunt the opposition with the waiting game that earned him fame initially.
PUJARA TO BE HONOURED WITH MEMENTO BY DDCA
Pujara has rediscovered his game in the last couple of years. He attended a press conference at the eve of the second test which is his 100th game and told the reporters:
“Patience needs mental strength and lots of practice. Preparation is important, and I learnt my patience from junior and first-class cricket. I do a little bit of meditation, yoga and pranayama because it is necessary to shut out the outside noise. It is easy to say that but, to do that, you need to be mentally strong and sometimes detach yourself from what’s spoken outside.“Shut out even if it’s positive news. I don’t read newspapers or check social media and that’s important.”
About what he wants to achieve next, Pujara said:
“There’s a lot to achieve. I’m excited to play the 100th Test match, but at the same time, we are playing an important series. Hopefully, we win this Test match and the next one too which will ensure our WTC final qualification. And my dream is to win that WTC final for the country which didn’t happen the last time we qualified.”
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