Source : The Times of India, Last updated : 6 Dec 2018,4:44 pm

Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahul Dravid: The uncanny coincidence

Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahul Dravid: The uncanny coincidence
NEW DELHI: Cheteshwar Pujara has always been touted as Rahul Dravid's replacement since the time senior batsman retired from the Test cricket in 2012 but he has often been criticised for not being upto the mark outside the Indian subcontinent.

Pujara may find his name behind Dravid when the comparisons are drawn between the two batsmen but when it comes to statistics the 30-year-old is at par with his senior pro.

On Thursday, Puajra bailed India out of trouble with his maiden hundred in Australia on the first day of the first Test in Adelaide. He compiled a patient 123 in hot and difficult conditions to help India 250/9 at stumps.

In the process, Pujara has emulated Dravid's feat of reaching 5000 Test runs in 108 innings. It is only a coincidence that Pujara had also taken the same number of innings as Dravid to get to 3000 runs (67 innings) and 4000 Test runs (84 innings).

Runs Dravid (No. of innings) Pujara (No. of innings)
3000 runs 67 67
4000 runs 84 84
5000 runs 108 108

Pujara showed the grit and gumption that is typical of him en route a 246-ball 123 that kept India in the game after being reduced to 127 for six in the 50th over.

Pujara defies Aussie attack with a fighting century
Pujara defies Aussie attack with a fighting century

It took a brilliant direct from Pat Cummins to remove him on what happened to be the final ball of an absorbing day one of the four-Test series.

He also ranked his gritty hundred among the top five of his 16 centuries in the longest format. "It (Thursday's knock) is one of my top innings in Test cricket, I could say top five. I can't rate if it was one of the best but the teammates were appreciating, they were saying it was one of the best," Pujara said.

This was the second overseas hundred for Pujara this year, after his effort in Southampton against England. He also scored fighting half-centuries in the two Test wins at Johannesburg (against South Africa) and Nottingham (against England).
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