Indian middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara achieved a unique feat by becoming the third Indian cricketer to bat all five days in a test match against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens on Monday, 20th November. Before Pujara, Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri and former cricketer ML Jaisimha have had the rare distinction to have batted on all five days.
Pujara was the only batsman in the ongoing test to battle through the harsh wicket, taking India to a respectable total of 172 after they were five wickets down before the scoreboard struck 100. Pujara scored a fifty in the first innings of the first test against Sri Lanka despite regular interventions in the game due to rain. He withstood Suranga Lakmal's fiery spell in conditions favouring pacers and helped India reach 172.
Earlier ML Jaisimha was also the first player to bat on each of the five days of a test match when they faced Australia in Kolkata in 1960. Ravi Shastri batted on all the five days of a test match against England in 1984 after India’s first innings ended on the 4th day of the game due to regular interruptions.
“Personally, I love playing on challenging wickets. It suits my temperament and technique. On these wickets, your character comes up and you feel that you are confident and you can pull a team out of trouble. I try and stay strong when the wicket is difficult,” said Pujara as quoted by Indian Express.
“I had a lot of exposure. At the same time, I have played on many challenging wickets and as a cricketer, I have learnt many things that helped me improve and understand my game” added the cricketer.
The first test between India and Sri Lanka is heading towards a draw after rain interrupted the five day format throughout.
Cheteshwar Pujara becomes the third Indian cricketer, after Ravi Shastri and ML Jaisimha to have batted on all 5 days of a Test match. pic.twitter.com/1ERgsi6p9r
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 20, 2017