Cheteshwar Pujara smashed his third triple century in First-Class cricket during India A’s encounter against West Indies A at Shimoga. Nishad Pai Vaidya examines some mind-boggling stats of Pujara’s cricketing career.
Cheteshwar Pujara is a run-machine with a penchant for big scores. In the longer formats, Pujara has shown tremendous hunger for monumental scores and his latest innings of 306 not out for India A against West Indies A is his third triple century in First-Class cricket. This milestone puts him an elite list of players who have achieved the feat more than thrice. At this young age, Pujara has shown the makings of a long term number three for India due to his sound temperament and solid technique. Runs are nothing but a natural conclusion.
Since the retirement of Rahul Dravid, Pujara has fit into the role at number three quite well. At a young age, he had learnt the art of weaving big ones and putting a price on his wicket. It is that instinct that allows him the strength to go all the way. Here are the batsmen who have scored more than three triple-tons in First-Class cricket:
|Player||No of First-Class 300s|
Pujara’s India and Saurashtra team-mate, Ravindra Jadeja is also a part of this list with three triples. The others have been some of the greats of the game such as Don Bradman, Wally Hammond, Brian Lara and WG Grace. Graeme Hick is also in the list, but didn’t live up to his billing at the highest level. Pujara and Jadeja would want to emulate the feats of the others and make it big for India. Being a part of this list itself is a huge honour.
Pujara scores big since his young days
Pujara’s most recent innings is his sixth triple ton across various levels. A few days short of his 13th birthday, he smashed 306 not out for the Saurashtra under-14s against Baroda under-14s. Then in 2008, he hit back to back triple hundreds for Saurashtra under-22s. He first hit 386 against Maharashtra under-22s and a few days down the line, Mumbai under-22s were chasing leather as he amassed 309. Less than a month down the line, he hit his maiden First-Class triple, when he hit 302 not out for Saurashtra against Orissa in the Ranji Trophy. Earlier this year, he scored 352 against Karnataka.
Pujara’s triples at various levels:
|306*||West Indies A|
Pujara has also scored eight double tons in First-Class cricket, two of which have come in Test matches.
Here is the list:
|208*||West Indies A||2010|
|306*||West Indies A||2013|
The interesting thing is that five off those eight scores of above 200 have come in the last twelve months. It shows that Pujara has grown in confidence since his comeback to the Indian team last year. The selectors also trust him as they have handed him the reins of leadership for India A a few times and he hasn’t disappointed. Scoring runs is the best thing a batsman can do and Pujara inspires more confidence with each outing.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)