My century in Sri Lanka changed everything, Cheteshwar Pujara

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My century in Sri Lanka changed everything, Cheteshwar Pujara

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SportsCafe Desk

07/31/2017

Ahead of his 50th Test match for India in Colombo, Cheteshwar Pujara fondly recalls his first Test century in that venue that had changed his cricketing career. The Saurashtra cricketer has since been an integral part of the Test squad getting 12 centuries and scoring over 3000 runs.

It was in 2015 that the boy from Rajkot had scored a Test century at Colombo. His magnificent innings of unbeaten 145 runs had not only cemented his position in the Indian squad but also reignited his otherwise topsy-turvy international career till then.

The right-handed batsman had a difficult time facing injuries in his early days. While a knee injury had kept him out for six months following his 2010 debut against Australia in Bangalore, it was prolonged by a year as another injury hit him in 2011 sidelining him for six months yet again.

“When you get injured, you need to get that rhythm going for you again as your concentration goes down. Injury was the toughest part of my career but now I have come out of it and I am working hard on my fitness," said Pujara.

He was excluded from the first two Tests of that series owing to his erratic form but injuries to the regular openers forced India to call upon his services. The top order batsman wasn’t letting go of this chance now. Stating it as his comeback that changed his professional career, Pujara said, “When I got a hundred in Sri Lanka, in 2015, everything changed. After that, I think, even in domestic cricket, I have scored some runs. When you start playing domestic cricket and start scoring big runs, you gain a lot of confidence.”

Pujara has played 49 Tests so far, scoring 3966 runs at an average of 52.18, which includes 12 centuries. Last year has been one of his best so far, where he had managed eight fifties and five hundreds in 25 innings. India’s convincing win over Sri Lanka in the last Test saw him producing yet another ton as the Men in Blue won by 304 runs inside four days.

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