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Cheteshwar Pujara within striking distance of a couple of records

Cheteshwar Pujara within striking distance of a couple of records

One surely hopes that Cheteshwar Pujara’s career traverses along the path traced by the great Sunil Gavaskar © Getty Images

Cheteshwar Pujara has had a phenomenal series so far against the Englishmen. It has pushed his career aggregate past 700 and his batting average has shot through the roof. This has placed him within striking distance of a couple of Indian records, writes Arunabha Sengupta.

Cheteshwar Pujara has been the one shining star in the otherwise beleaguered Indian batting line-up. He has amassed 388 runs in four innings in the series, two of which were unbeaten.

Before the first Test at Ahmedabad, he had a tally of 323 runs in five Tests at an average just pushing past 40. The prolific run of 206 not out, 41 not out, and 135 – along with the six runs he managed in the last innings – has pushed his total collection of Test runs to 711 at a staggering average of 71.10. So far he has played just 12 Test innings.

Vinod Kambli took 14 innings to get to 1000 and is slotted at No 5 on the all-time list behind four colossal names – Herbert Sutcliffe, Everton Weekes, Don Bradman and Neil Harvey. Kambli remains the fastest Indian to get there in terms of number of innings.

This sets a target of 289 runs for Pujara in two innings to equal the record. Given the sort of nick he is in, one cannot put it beyond him.

1000 runs in less than 15 innings

Batsman 1000 runs on Test debut Duration Tests Innings
H Sutcliffe (Eng) Feb 13, 1925 June 14, 1924 0 year 244 days 9 12
ED Weekes (WI) Feb 4, 1949 Jan 21, 1948 1 year 14 days 9 12
DG Bradman (Aus) July 11, 1930 Nov 30,  1928 1 year 223 days 7 13
RN Harvey (Aus) Dec 1, 1950 Jan 23, 1948 2 year 312 days 10 14
VG Kambli (India) Nov 18,  1994 Jan 29, 1993 1 year 293 days 12 14

However, he has a much more realistic chance of becoming the fastest Indian batsman to score 1000 runs in terms of the number of Tests played. While Kambli took 12 matches to get to the milestone, Sunil Gavaskar made it in one less, although the legendary opening batsman crossed 1000 in his 21st innings.

That gives Pujara four Tests to equal and three to break the record.

It is indeed surprising that Kambli played just five more Tests after arriving at that 1000 run milestone at a super-quick rate. One surely hopes that Pujara’s career traverses along the path traced by Gavaskar in this regard.

Curiously, the next two Indians on the list also lived up to their initial promise in diametrically different ways. Sadagopan Ramesh finished with 1367 runs in 19 Tests while Rahul Dravid scored 13,288 from 164.

Fastest Indians to 1000 runs in terms of Tests

Batsman 1000 on Test debut Duration Tests Innings
SM Gavaskar Jan 25, 1973 March 6, 1971 1year 325 days 11 21
VG Kambli Nov 18,  1994 Jan 29,  1993 1 year 293 days 12 14
S Ramesh Feb 27, 2001 Jan 28, 1999 2 year 30 days 13 25
R Dravid Apr 17,  1997 June 20, 1996 0 year 301days 14 23
SV Manjrekar Aug 9, 1990 Nov 25, 1987 2 year 257 days 14 23

In terms of duration, Dravid was the fastest among Indians – mainly because of the frequency at which India played Test cricket in 1996 and 1997. He got there in just 301 days. Only 12 other batsmen have got their first 1000 runs in less than a year. This record is beyond Pujara, who made his debut in 2010 and will have already spent two years and 57 days in the Test arena by the time the two teams face off at the Eden Gardens.

Batsmen to 1000 runs in less than a year from debut

Batsman 1000 runs on Debut Duration Tests Innings
MEK Hussey (Aus) Apr 16, 2006 Nov 3, 2005 0 year 164 days 11 19
AJ Strauss (Eng) Jan 2, 2005 May 20, 2004 0 year 227 days 10 19
H Sutcliffe (Eng) Feb 13, 1925 Jun 14,  1924 0 year 244 days 9 12
BW Luckhurst (Eng) Aug 19, 1971 Nov 27,  1970 0 year 265 days 13 25
MJ Slater (Aus) Mar 17, 1994 Jun 3,  1993 0 year 287days 14 23
KP Pietersen (Eng) May 11, 2006 Jul 21,  2005 0 year 294 days 12 23
AN Cook (Eng) Dec 26, 2006 March 1,  2006 0 year 300 days 13 24
R Dravid (India) Apr 17, 1997 Jun 20, 1996 0 year 301 days 14 23
MA Taylor (Aus) Dec 8, 1989 Jan 26,  1989 0 year 316 days 10 18
MJ Clarke (Aus) Sep 8, 2005 Oct 6, 2004 0 year 337 days 17 26
AR Border (Aus) Dec 14, 1979 Dec 19, 1978 0 year 350 days 13 26
AB de Villiers (SA) Dec 16, 2005 Dec 17, 2004 0 year 364 days 12 20
AW Greig (Eng) Jun 7, 1973 June 8,  1972 0 year 364 days 14 24

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

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