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Happy birthday Cheteshwar Pujara: A look at the top knocks of the batsman as he turns 35

Happy birthday Cheteshwar Pujara: A look at the top knocks of the batsman as he turns 35

Happy birthday Cheteshwar Pujara: A look at the top knocks of the batsman as he turns 35
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By Prakhar Sachdeo  Jan 25, 2023 10:11:38 AM IST (Updated)

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India's Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is celebrating his 35th birthday today. While Pujara might have endured a tough patch in recent years, there is no denying that at his peak it was impossible to get his wicket. Here's a throwback of the top knocks of the batsman

159 v New ZealandHyderabad Aug 2012 |
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159 vs New Zealand, Hyderabad, August 2012 | Cheteshwar Pujara secured his first Test ton in August 2012. New Zealand had arrived in India to play two Tests and two T20Is. In the first Test in Hyderabad India batted first and was reduced to 49/1 when Pujara walked to the middle to take strike. Pujara then spent 468 minutes facing 306 balls as he notched his first Test hundred. Pujara's knock of 159 which was decorated with 19 fours and a six, coupled with Virat Kohli's 58 and MS Dhoni's 73 helped India to 438. The spin duo of R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha then dismissed New Zealand on 159 and 164 in two successive innings as India wrapped up a clinical win by an inning and 115 runs. Although Ashwin won the Player of the Match award for his 12 wickets in the match, Pujara's maiden Test hundred played a pivotal role in the team's win. (Image: AP)

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206* vs England, Ahemdabad, November 2012 | Not long after Purjara hit his first Test hundred, did he reach his maiden Test double ton. In the later months of 2012, England was on a tour of India to play four Tests, two T20Is, and 5 ODIs. The first Test was played in Ahemdabad. India batted first and Pujara playing at his favoured no.3 spot punished the English bowlers en route to his first double hundred. Pujara played a patient knock to test the English attack as he spent 513 minutes in the middle and faced 389 balls. The right-handed batsman hit 21 fours in his unbeaten knock of 206. On the back of Pujara's double-hundred and Virender Sehwag's run-a-ball 117 India piled up 521/8 in the first innings. England never came back into the contest as India rounded off a win by 9 wickets. The innings of 206* remains Pujara's highest Test score to date. (Image: Reuters)

204 vs Australia Hyderabad Mar 2013 | (Image: BCCI)
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204 vs Australia, Hyderabad, March 2013 | Pujara conquered Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium for the second time in his career when he smashed the second double hundred of his Test career. In the second Test of the three-match Test series, Australia was reduced to just 237/9 in the first innings. In reply, India mounted 503 thanks to a hundred by opener Murali Vijay and a double century by Pujara. In another marathon effort, Pujara batted for 450 minutes, played 341 balls and scored 204 runs. Australia was then bowled out on just 131 in their second outing as India went 2-0 in the series. (Image: BCCI)

145 * vs Sri Lanka Hyderabad Sept 2015 |
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145 * vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, September 2015 | Cheteshwar Pujara was trusted as an opener in the third Test of the three-match series during India's tour of Sri Lanka in 2015. While Sri Lanka had claimed the opening Test, India bounced back to win the second match. With the fate of the series on the line, Pujara hammered an unbeaten 145 in India's first innings that helped the team to a total of 312 runs. Post Pujara's hundred Ishant Sharma and R Ashwin took care of Sri Lankan batters as India won the match by 117 runs and the series 2-1. (Image: AP)

202 vs Australia Ranchi Mar 2017 |
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202 vs Australia, Ranchi, March 2017 | Cheteshwar Pujara's third Test double hundred and second against Australia came in the summer of 2017. In the third Test of the four-match series played in Ranchi, Australia raced to 451 riding high on the tons by Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell. India in a response posted 603/9 d. The chief architect of the Indian innings was Pujara who in a gritty display of batsmanship played 525 balls to grind out 202 runs. Although the match ended in a draw, Pujara for his batting walked away with the Player of the Match award. (Image: AP)

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153 vs Sri Lanka, Galle, July 2017 | Sri Lanka was once again the victim of a stellar show by Cheteshwar Pujara in July 2017. In the opening Test of the three-match Test series Shikhar Dhawan's blistering 190 and Pujara's steady 153 paved the way for India to score 600 in the first innings. Sri Lanka was never able to compete after the two hundred as India won the match by a margin of 304 runs. Although Dhawan walked away with the Player of the Match award, Pujara's 153 was equally crucial in India's win. (Image: Reuters)

133 vs Sri Lanka Colombo July 2017 | 
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133 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, July 2017 | Cheteshwar Pujara followed his 153 in Galle with a 133 in Colombo in the next Test. Continuing his good form Pujara struck 133 in 232 deliveries in India's first innings. Pujara was backed by Ajinkya Rahane who hit 132. Thanks to the hundreds by the two batsmen, India scored 622/9d. Sri Lanka made 183 and 386 in their two outings as India won the match by an inning and 53 runs. Although Ravindra Jadeja was the Player of the Match for his 7 wickets and unbeaten 70, Pujara's knock laid the foundation for India's win. (Image: AP)

143 vs Sri Lanka Nagpur November 2017 |
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143 vs Sri Lanka, Nagpur, November 2017 | Cheteshwar Pujara continued to dominate Sri Lankan bowlers in 2017 as he smashed his way to a third century against the Lankans in Nagpur in the latter part of the year. Sri Lankan arrived in India in the latter half of 2017 to play 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 3 T20Is. After the drawn first Test in Kolkata, the two teams moved to Nagpur for the next Test. Sri Lankan was skittled out on just 205. Then on a batting-friendly track, Virat Kohli slammed a double-hundred and Pujara, Murali Vijay and Rohit Sharma backed their captain by hitting centuries. Amid a double century and two other hundreds, Pujara's sturdy knock of 143 stood out. When Pujara was finally dismissed he walked back to a standing ovation. Needless to say, India won the match by an inning and 239 runs. (Image: AP)

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132 vs England, Southampton, Sept 2012 | India played a forgettable four-match Test series away in England in 2018 but the series had some memorable performances by the Indian batsmen. One of those memorable performances was Pujrara's hundred in the 4th Test in Southampton. England scored only 246 in their first innings. Indian batsmen sans Pujara struggled against the English bowlers. Pujara was not fazed as he hit 132 in 257 balls. His lone efforts helped India to 273. Pujara's solo effort was not enough as England clinched the match by 60 runs. (Image: Reuters)

123 vs Australia Adelaide December 2018 |
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123 vs Australia, Adelaide, December 2018 | The 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar trophy between India and Australia remains Cheteshwar Pujara's pinnacle. The batsman kickstarted the series with a century in the first Test in Adelaide. Pujara slammed 123 in India's first innings and ended up contributing nearly 50% of the team's total as India was bowled out on 250. Pujara followed his 123 in the first innings with a 71 in the second innings as India won the Test by 71 runs. (Image: AP)

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106 vs Australia, Melbourne, December 2018 | After returning with scores of 24 and 4 in the second Test in Perth, Pujara bounced back to hit his second century of the series in Melbourne. Giving support to an inexperienced opening pair of Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal, Pujara hit 106 in India's first innings. With the fifties from Agarwal, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma India ended with a score of 443/7d. Indian bowlers took control after that as India clinched the match by 137 runs. (Image: Reuters)

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193 vs Australia, Sydney, January 2019 | After hitting centuries in Adelaide and Melbourne, Pujara saved his best for the last Test of the series played in Sydney. The right-handed batter brought out the marathon man hidden inside him once more as he faced 373 deliveries in India's first innings to play an epic knock of 193. By this time Australian bowlers had run out of fuel and had no idea how to dismiss Pujara. It was only a poor shot by the Indian batsman that led to his dismissal. As Pujara walked back he was given a standing ovation by the Sydney crowd. With Rishabh Pant hitting a counter-attacking 159, India mounted a score of 622/7d in the first innings. Sydney rains had the final say as the match ended in a draw. But Pujara's herculean efforts right through the series meant that he had accumulated 521 runs in 4 matches. Pujara's batting efforts meant that India won a Test series in Australia for the first time and the batsman has rightly adjudged the Player of the Series. (Image: Reuters)

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