10 Unknown Facts about India’s unsung hero Cheteshwar Pujara:
1. As a young boy, Pujara started off as an all-rounder. He bowled right arm leg spin.
2. Pujara grew up in a cricketing family in Rajkot, Gujarat. His father Arvind represented Saurashtra in the late 1970s. His uncle Bipin was also a cricketer and had represented India schools.
3. Open Magazine quoted Pujara’s father Arvind narrating how he had discovered his son’s potential. A two-and-a-half-year-old Pujara was once photographed while batting by one of Arvind’s nephews. Those photographs showed good balance. There was one photo where the young boy was playing a rising ball and had his eyes firmly fixed onto it. Sensing that, Arvind initiated him into cricket.
4. He scored three triple centuries in a span of one month (though only the last one was in a first-class match) which is a record in itself.
5. Pujara’s mother Reena played a huge role in his development as a cricketer. However, she could not live to see her son shine at the highest level. When Pujara was 17, she passed away from cancer. Incidentally, he made his Test debut exactly five years to the day she had passed away.
6. Pujara’s batting average is second to only Michael Bevan in List A cricket. Bevan tops the list with 57.86, with Pujara in second place at 54.01. Despite that, he is labelled a Test specialist and has not got too many chances in one-day cricket for India.
7. At the time of writing, Pujara has six triple-centuries in his representative career. Going back to the one he scored in his first under-14 game, he also got two consecutive triples for Saurashtra under-22s in 2008. He has then scored three First-Class triple centuries. In fact, the two triples for Saurashtra under-22 and the maiden First-Class triple had come in a space of one month.
8. Cheteshwar Pujara became fastest Indian batsman to reach 1,000 runs in Test cricket in terms of matches (11 matches).
9. Top scorer of U-19 World Cup in 2006 with 349 runs at an average of 116.33. He was adjudged the Player of the Tournament.
10. Pujara currently has nine First-Class scores of 200 or more. At one point in time, his rate of scoring doubles was second to only Don Bradman. Bradman got a double after every nine innings. Pujara had gotten it at almost 15. That has however gone up now.