Cheteshwar Pujara taking pressure off Virat Kohli is massive reason for India’s series win: Damien Martyn
Marathon Man: Cheteshwar Pujara has faced 1258 balls in this series. © AFP

Former Australia batsman Damien Martyn has heralded Cheteshwar Pujara s batting in the ongoing Test series as massive for India, who have retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by going up 2-1 and are staring at the country s first Test series win on Australian soil.

Crease occupation has been Pujara s forte all series, and Friday s 373-ball 193 took his tally of balls faced in the series to 1258, meaning he claimed the record for visiting batsmen in a series of four Tests or less on Australian soil. Overall for visiting batsmen in Australia, Pujara s 1258 deliveries consumed this series ranks as the ninth most.

His series returns of 521 runs in seven innings is the third best for a visiting Indian batsman in Australia after Virat Kohli s 692 scored in 2014-15 and Rahul Dravid s 619 from the 2003-04 tour. Only Kohli, with four, has scored more than three Test hundreds in a series in Australia. (ALSO READ: Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant hundreds headline India’s march to 622/7)

According to Martyn, who played 67 Tests for Australia, Pujara s batting took pressure of Kohli in this series.

Look at those stats. Its not everyday that someone comes to Australia and performs that way, said Martyn on a show for ESPNcricinfo. Three Tests hundreds he s up there with Kohli and [Sachin] Tendulkar, so he s been outstanding which is the resolve of just batting a long time. It s old school Test cricket, which I think nowadays lacks a bit.

You don t see a lot of players coming through now with that kind of skill. For Test cricket this works and it works for Kohli and the Indian cricket team.They can bat around him [Pujara] and it takes pressure of Kohli. He s been one of the massive reasons why they ve won this series.

India declared their innings at 622/7 on Friday, with Rishabh Pant scoring 159* and Ravindra Jadeja 81 in a seventh-wicket stand worth 204.