Patient Cheteshwar Pujara surpasses Dravid, Sutcliffe for most balls faced in Australia
Marathon Man: Cheteshwar Pujara has faced 1258 balls in this series. © AFP

Cheteshwar Pujara has achieved a new milestone during his excellent and potentially series-winning 193 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, setting the benchmark for visiting batsmen in a series of four Tests or less in Australia.

During the course of his 373-ball hundred on Friday, Pujara took his tally of balls faced in the series to 1258, meaning he claimed the record.

Back in the 1928-29 Ashes, England legend Herbert Sutcliffe faced 1237 balls across 17 innings for his 355 runs. During India’s tour of Australia in 2003-4, Rahul Dravid faced 1203 deliveries while scoring 619 runs in eight innings for an average of 51.45, with one double-hundred and three fifties. (LIVE UPDATES: INDIA vs AUSTRALIA, 4th TEST)

MOST BALLS FACED BY VISITING BATSMEN IN AUSTRALIA (4 TESTS)

Player M I Runs Avg BF Season
C Pujara 4 7 521 74.42 1258 2018-19
H Sutcliffe 4 7 355 50.71 1237 1928-29
R Dravid 4 8 619 123.80 1203 2003-04
V Kohli 4 8 692 86.50 1093 2014-15

Overall for visiting batsmen in Australia, Pujara’s 1258 deliveries consumed this series ranks as the ninth most. The record is owned by England great Wally Hammond who during the 1928-29 Ashes series faced 2521 in nine innings. Four years prior to that, Sutcliffe faced 2022 deliveries to record the only two instances of visiting batsmen to Australia facing over 2000 balls in a Test series.

English cricketers Geoffrey Boycott (1750 in 10 innings), John Edrich (1733 in 11, 1395 in 10), Alastair Cook (1438 in seven), Jack Hobbs (1330 + in nine) and Douglas Jardine (1324 in nine) all rank above Pujara.

The only other Indian to face in excess of 1000 deliveries during a Test series in Australia is Virat Kohli, who needed 1093 balls for his record-setting 692 runs on the last tour.