Wishes pour in as 'modern-day wall' Cheteshwar Pujara turns 34
- Cheteshwar Pujara celebrated his 34th birthday on Tuesday
- Ishant Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha led the charge in wishing Pujara
- Pujara has been going through a poor form
Indian cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara celebrated his 34th birthday on January 25. Ishant Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Mayank Agarwal and Axar Patel led the way as wishes pour in for the batter.
Pujara is famous for his solid show with the bat in Test cricket, especially for his bravery against Australia at the Gabba in the 2018-19 series when India won a historic Test series Down Under. But of late, he has been struggling to score. His last hundred came against Australia in 2019.
In the recently concluded South Africa series, Pujara accumulated 124 runs in six innings. It is believed that Pujara would be dropped from India’s next Test series due to his disastrous performance in the last three years. Despite his recent form, the cricket fraternity wished he gets back the mojo.
“Happy Birthday Panther!!Birthday cake. Hope you have a good day bro! Cheers!” Ishant Sharma wrote on Twitter.
The Indian cricket team has never given such a long run to a cricketer despite failing to play big innings. In the last two years, Pujara, along with Ajinkya Rahane, has failed consistently and found success not even sporadically whereas it should have been the other way round.
It seemed that team management and the selectors were bent on giving them every chance to succeed. And they have been blowing those away.
India will next play Sri Lanka at home in February-March, and Pujara is unlikely to find a space in the team.
"I think both Pujara and Rahane will be dropped from the team for the Sri Lanka series. Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari will both play," Sunil Gavaskar said while commentating on the India-South Africa series.
"We'll have to see who plays at number three. Hanuma Vihari may take Pujara's place and Shreyas Iyer could be number five in place of Rahane, but we will have to see. Nevertheless, I think there will certainly be two spots up for grabs against Sri Lanka," Gavaskar was also heard saying.
Shubman Gill, who has mostly played as an opening batsman, is expected to return after he recovers from his shin injury. The selectors will have to fit in Gill in the middle-order.
If Gill plays at number five, he can exploit the conditions when the ball becomes old and the attack is tired. Also, he has the range to take on the bowlers when the second new ball will be in operation.
Pujara is known for his grit. He is a classy batter. He would definitely come back to do what he has done for India over the years.