ICC Hall of Famer and Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar had an out of the world birthday wish for the contemporary Mr consistent Cheteshwar Pujara as the batsmen turned 32 years old on Saturday. Making his debut in 2010, Cheteshwar Pujara has gone on to become an integral part of the Team India's Test line-up and has solidified his position at the top of the batting order. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar took to social media to wish Pujara with a witty and quirky anecdote.
Pujara, as fans know, is considered to be the next thing close to The Wall Rahul Dravid in terms of his display of will, grit, technique and passion in the longer format of the game that often leaves the bowlers frustrated. Sachin Tendulkar said that only with the priest's blessings will anyone be able to dismiss Pujara, indicating at the difficulty faced by the bowlers to get Pujara out. Further, Pujara has been in the top 10 ICC rankings for Test batsmen for over an year, with his stats doing the talking for himself.
Pujara said his 50th first-class century will boost his confidence ahead of India's upcoming Test tour of New Zealand, where he will need to "trust" his game. The two-match series assumes significance as a win there will leave India within touching distance of making the 2021 final of the ongoing inaugural World Test Championship. On Saturday, Pujara joined a select group of cricketing greats by reaching the landmark ton during Saurashtra's Ranji Trophy Group B match against Karnataka.
"If you achieve such a thing before such tours, you feel confident and you start trusting your game again."
"That is because when you are going abroad and you are playing in challenging conditions, you need to trust your game, trust your preparation."
With his 50th first-class century, Pujara joined nine Indians led by Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. "It is the right time actually - we are going to New Zealand soon so it is good for the preparation. Whenever you score runs, you are high on confidence and you also get back your rhythm." The 31-year-old Pujara, who has 18 Test centuries to his credit, is fourth on the list of active players with most first-class centuries behind England's Alastair Cook (65), South African Hashim Amla (52) and India's domestic cricket giant Wasim Jaffer (57).