Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara received heaps of best wishes on Twitter as he turned 33 on Monday. One of the most important batsmen for India in the Test format, Pujara has done everything that he can for his team, right from spending hours at the crease to taking blows on his body.
Cheteshwar Pujara proved yet again why is an asset to this Indian team through his exploits Down Under in the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The 33-year-old was the second-highest run-scorer for the visitors, with 271 runs to his name. But more importantly, he faced 928 balls in the series – the most by any batsman.
In the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Pujara had top-scored with 521 runs and managed to wear down the Australian pacers as well.
He takes body blows
Grinds it out in the middle
Braves it all & stands tall
81 Tests 🏏
6111 runs 👌
13572 balls faced 👏
18 hundreds 👍
Let’s relive one of his fine tons against Sri Lanka 🎥👇
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 25, 2021
Many former and current Indian cricketers took to Twitter to send best wishes to Cheteshwar Pujara on his 33rd birthday. Here is what they had to say:
Happy birthday pujji @cheteshwar1. Wish you good health, happiness and more hours at the crease 😃. Have a great year ahead.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 25, 2021
Wishing a very happy birthday 🎂 to @cheteshwar1 who put his body on the line for the country 🇮🇳 proud of the brave fight you gave the Aussies! Best wishes for the England series 👊🏻💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/e8LlxHjvTq
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) January 25, 2021
— DK (@DineshKarthik) January 25, 2021
— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) January 25, 2021
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) January 25, 2021
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) January 25, 2021
Fans also expressed their heartfelt gratitude towards Cheteshwar Pujara by sending him best wishes through Twitter.
They valued his efforts in helping Team India script back-to-back historic Test series wins Down Under. Here is what they had to say:
The ultimate warrior. Will go down as one of the best test batsmen India has ever produced. The last day grind at d GABBA will forever b remembered, ofc, that is just one of his several warrior like inng. It encapsulates his career so far. #HappyBirthdayPujara #CheteshwarPujara pic.twitter.com/C1sQOzKddu
— Er. Dipanjan Chatterjee (@i_dipanjan) January 25, 2021
— Xavier (@Xavier34442) January 25, 2021
For India in a test Inning
200+ balls faced – 61 players
300+ balls faced – 29 players
400+ balls faced – 11 players
500+ balls faced – Pujara
— AADIL (@Aadilafridi10) January 25, 2021
— TheJagg’sOfficial (@Jagguu77) January 25, 2021
— Prashun Dash (@DashPrashun) January 25, 2021
— Smurfette💙 (@tweet2appi) January 25, 2021
Cheteshwar Pujara was criticized for his slow batting during the first innings of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). He had scored 50 runs off 176 balls and many felt that he cost Team India the momentum.
However, his style of batting is what saved the Indian team in Sydney as well as the series decider at the Gabba.
There is no doubt that opener Shubman Gill‘s 91 and left-hander Rishabh Pant‘s 89* were crucial in Team India’s historic triumph in Brisbane. But, it was Cheteshwar Pujara’s marathon innings on day five that kept the Australian bowlers at bay.
Pujara scored 56 runs off 211 balls and was hit 11 times on his body by the Australian quicks. However, he didn’t get bogged down by the blows and faced every single ball with immense determination.
His crucial partnerships with Gill and Pant ensured that chasing down the target of 328 was possible for the visitors.
Sometimes, it almost feels as if Pujara doesn’t get enough credit for the invaluable job that he does for Team India. Nevertheless, the 33-year-old will still continue to do what he knows best – churn out runs and wear down bowling attacks all over the world.