New Delhi, January 25
Cheteshwar Pujara on Monday turned 33 and his teammates, including Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin, led the pouring in of wishes for India’s Test batting mainstay.
During the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia, Pujara faced a total of 928 balls – the fifth-most by a visiting batsman in Australia in four or fewer Tests.
He scored 271 runs at a strike rate of 33.88, with the help of 29 fours and played a key role in India’s remarkable Test series victory, which included a historic win at the Gabba in Brisbane. As India chased down 328 in the final innings, Pujara endured as many as 11 blows but put up a “great wall” against the Aussie onslaught.
During the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar series Down Under, Pujara had faced a total of 1,258 deliveries and had scored 521 runs at an average of 74.43 and a strike rate of 41.21 with the help of 50 fours and two sixes.
“Happy birthday pujji. Wish you good health, happiness and more hours at the crease. Have a great year ahead,” tweeted India skipper Kohli.
“He makes playing hours of cricket look easy and is one of the strongest guys I know. Happy birthday Puji,” said Ajinkya Rahane, who led India to their second Test series win in Australia, in an Instagram story.
“He takes body blows, grinds it out in the middle, braves it all & stands tall. 81 Tests, 6111 runs, 13572 balls faced, 18 hundreds. Here’s wishing Team India’s Mr Dependable Cheteshwar Pujara a very happy birthday,” the official Twitter handle of BCCI said in their wishes.
“Happy birthday to the Wall 2.0 Cheteshwar Pujara. One of the grittiest batters in the game,” said the International Cricket Council while extending birthday wishes.
Ashwin posted a video on social media to wish Pujara and termed the Indian batsman “Rock of Gibraltar”. In the video, Ashwin’s daughter can be seen extending birthday greetings to Pujara.
“Many more happy returns of the day Rock of Gibraltar Cheteshwar Pujara, can’t thank you enough for being my bunny though,” Ashwin said.
“Wishing you a very happy birthday Cheteshwar Pujara bhai. May you continue winning games for India and score a lot of runs,” said Umesh Yadav.
“Wishing a very happy birthday Birthday @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,” tweeted Yuvraj Singh.
Pujara has played a total of 81 Tests for India in which he has scored 6,111 runs. Besides, he has also played five ODIs for the Men in Blue in which he amassed 51 runs.
He will next be seen in action in the four-match Test series against England beginning February 5 in Chennai. IANS