Cheteshwar Pujara's hardwork with Sussex pays off: Test veteran earns India return
- Cheteshwar Pujara gets recalled to India's 17 man test squad for reshceduled test versus England
- Pujara was dropped for the home series against Sri Lanka
- The recall follows a rich vein of form in the County Championships
Cheteshwar Pujara was recalled to the Indian test squad for the rescheduled test match against England. Dropped for the home tests against Sri Lanka after a wretched run of form, the veteran, it seems, has been given a second lease of life. Turning out for Division Two's Sussex, he has amassed 531 runs at an average of 132.75 in five appearances. Posting three-figure scores of 201*, 109, 203 and 170*, the 34-year-old has been a bright spark in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the Hove based outfit.
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In fact, with twin double centuries, he becomes only the second Indian after Mohammad Azharuddin to register two double centuries in County cricket. The languid Hyderabadi achieved the same feat across two seasons- 1991 and 1994- for Derbyshire. In addition, with 15 first-class double hundreds, he has surpassed Kumar Sangakkara's tally of 13, taking him to the top of the list for Asian batters. Commencing on July 1st, The Edgbaston test- originally scheduled to be held at Old Trafford- stands out like an oddity in a calendar packed with T20 fixtures. With the T20 World Cup less than five months away, it is but natural that international sides turn their lens to the shortest format.
Yet, the unfinished series against England seeks closure, with both cricket boards- the BCCI and the ECB- working to chalk out a feasible five-day slot for the abandoned fifth test. While Old Trafford loses out on the marquee fixture, Birmingham is the new venue, chosen possibly for its vociferous home support. With England trailing 1-2, the home side will rely on the Brummie faithful to cheer them to victory!
For both sides, there has been significant upheaval since they last crossed swords at The Oval. India stormed England's home base with a splendid bowling performance to ensure an emphatic 157 run victory. Since, both Virat Kohli and Joe Root have stepped down as captains of their respective sides. Rohit Sharma and Ben Stokes have taken over, while both Ravi Shastri and Chris Silverwood have parted ways with the national setup.