Cheteshwar Pujara, the rock of India’s middle order in Test cricket celebrates his 32nd birthday on Saturday. Pujara was born January 25, 1988, to Reema Pujara and Arvind Pujara, a former Ranji Trophy player for Saurashtra and made his debut for India against Australia in a Bengaluru Test in 2010.
He played the second of his 75 Tests for India against New Zealand in August 2012 and since became a regular in the longest format. He has scored 5,740 runs at an average of 49.48 with 18 centuries and 24 fifties. He played an instrumental role in India’ maiden Test series win in Australia in 2018-19 by scoring 521 runs, including three centuries, in the four-matches, an effort for which he won the Player of the Series award. He scored hundreds in Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth in trying conditions.
Many notable names from the Indian cricket fraternity wished Pujara on his birthday.
“An epitome of class, composure and technique, here’s wishing Team India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara a very happy birthday,” tweeted BCCI.
“Pujara needs priest’s blessing to get out! Happy birthday Cheteshwar Pujara. Have a great one,” tweeted Sachin Tendulkar in Marathi.
“Many more happy returns of the day to an absolute batting great of this generation – Cheteshwar Pujara. India very lucky to have someone like you and wish you lots of success in the coming years,” said Mohammad Kaif.
Pujara’s teammate Wriddhiman Saha wrote: “Happiest Birthday Cheteshwar Pujara. May you be gifted with life’s biggest joys and never-ending bliss.”
“Many more happy returns of the day Cheteshwar Pujara. Wishing you a great year ahead,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.
Mayank Agarwal wrote: “Happy Birthday Cheteshwar Pujara! May this day be the start of a year filled with good luck, good health and much happiness.”
Earlier this month, with his century for Saurashtra against Karnataka on Day 1 of the fifth round of the Ranji Trophy 2019-20, Pujara entered an elite list of Indian cricketers. The century was Pujara’s 50th in First-Class Cricket, with which he became the ninth Indian batsman to do so. Other prominent names in this list features Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid VVS Laxman and others.
Out of these 100 centuries, 18 have come in Tests. Pujara finished the day unbeaten on 162, taking his tally of runs in First-Class cricket to 15350 runs and counting. The century was also Pujara’s first in four games this Ranji Trophy season to go with two half-centuries prior to this against Uttar Pradesh and Railways.