After a considerable rough patch in the last couple of years with his national side, team India test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara seems to be back on the track, with grace.
Pujara played his last international test against South Africa (SA) when Virat Kohli led India toured SA back in January 2022. The 34-year later was dropped from the Indian squad for the home test series against Sri Lanka.
The Saurashtra batter went unsold in the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction 2022 and played a few Ranji Trophy matches for his domestic side, scoring two half-centuries, in five innings.
The Indian batter is currently playing County cricket in England, with many familiar international faces accompanied. Pujara has been joined by Pakistan’s white-ball proficient Mohammad Rizwan, in the Sussex County team.
Playing for Sussex, Pujara is having a magnificent run as the India batter is the second-highest run-getter in the tournament with 717 runs in seven innings, with two double centuries and two half-centuries. Pujara hit another century yesterday, on Saturday (May 7), against Middlesex. He even smashed Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi for a solid upper-cut six, during his innings.
Pujara’s spectacular form is hinting at his international comeback and fans are already at it. Here are some reactions:
What do great players do when out of India team? Knock the selectors' doors with 100s and 200s like Pujara. Away from IPL glamour, a simple 'forget me not' message. @cheteshwar1
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) May 8, 2022
Get him in the squad for One off test in England, take him, watch him in nets and play him at 3 with @Hanumavihari at 6. Leave out shreyas.
— Drikjit Aich (@drikjit) May 7, 2022
This is just what a class player like Pujara does……surely he's not finished yet, looking forward to see him back in the Indian team against England 🔥
— Sanskar Gemawat (@_SanskarG) May 7, 2022
Another 100 for Pujara in the County championship 🔥
He's knocking the doors of selectors for the England Test 👀 pic.twitter.com/j99sDMNttw
— A B (@ICTxMI) May 7, 2022
Sussex set 370 run target for Middlesex
Sussex, playing their fifth match of the tournament, won the toss and elected to bat first. While Pujara, in the first innings, got out after scoring 16 runs, middle-order batter Tom Alsop’s century helped Sussex to put on a decent score of 392. Middlesex’ Shaheen Afridi troubled the Sussex batters bagging three wickets.
Middlesex then, in their first innings, got all out for 358, with a stronger middle-lower order performance. English international and Sussex pacer Ollie Robinson took a five-wicket haul. Sussex declared their second innings at 335/4 with Pujara being unbeaten at 170. Chasing 370 runs, Middlesex are currently 21/1.
Meanwhile, Sussex is at the seventh position in the points table, with two draws, two losses, and not a single win, in County Championship Division 2. Moreover, it will be interesting to see how things work out for Pujara, as the Indian team is set to play the fifth test against England in July this year, at Birmingham.
Written By Prachi Pisal