Full name Cheteshwar Arvind Pujara
Born January 25, 1988, Rajkot, Gujarat
Major teams India, India A, India Green, India Under-19s, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Saurashtra, Saurashtra Under-16s, Saurashtra Under-19s
Playing role Batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak
After years of prolific run-making at the domestic and A-team levels, Cheteshwar Pujara got an opportunity to showcase his talents at the international level in the Bangalore Test against Australia in 2010, and he made it count, displacing Rahul Dravid at No.3 and scoring an excellent 72 in a tricky fourth-innings run-chase. In the process, he became only the fifth Indian to score 50 or more in the fourth innings on debut.
Pujara’s gameplan is simple and he plays within his limitations. His technique is classical; upright at the crease and confident through both sides of the field. Son and pupil of former Ranji player Arvind Pujara, Cheteshwar was an achiever at age-level cricket too: he finished the 2006 Under-19 World Cup as its highest scorer with 349 runs at 116. He’d already displayed his hunger for big scores with a triple-century against Baroda at Under-14 level, a double against England Under-19, and 145 for Saurashtra in his second first-class match. In the World Cup, his 97 against West Indies and unbeaten 129 against England – an almost faultless one-day innings – took him to the top of the run-charts, past his big-scoring team-mates Gaurav Dhiman and Rohit Sharma. One of the top run-getters in the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy season, Pujara signed on with the Kolkata Knight Riders, of the lucrative Indian Premier League, in March 2008. In October that year he was picked for the Challenger Trophy and later scored two triple-hundreds for Saurashtra in an Under-22 tournament. He followed that up with another triple-century against Orissa in the 2008-09 Ranji Trophy. His form continued through the next season, which prompted a call-up to the Test squad, and Pujara responded with an unforgettable debut performance.