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Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy: Cheteshwar Pujara smashes 61-ball 100; joins Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag in elite list

Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy: Cheteshwar Pujara smashes 61-ball 100; joins Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag in elite list

New Delhi, Feb 21: Senior India cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara was yet again snubbed during the IPL 2019 auction for he's been branded as a 'Test batsman'.

Time and again Saurashtra batsman's critics have raised the issue of his slow strike rate to deny the right-handed batsman a chance in the shortest format of the game.

The 31-year-old, who has a knack of silencing his critics with his bat, showed the world that he could be equally dangerous in the Twenty20 format as well.

Pujara became the first Saurashtra batsman to slam a T20 ton, a feat that he achieved playing against Railways in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy 2019. He also became the fourth Indian to score a triple century in first-class cricket, a 150+ score in List A cricket, and a century in T20 cricket.

Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma and Virender Sehwag have attained this feat in the past and now Pujara too has joined this elite club.

Pujara, who opened the innings along with Harvik Desai, notched up his maiden century off just 61 balls, a knock studded with 16 boundaries and a six. The right-handed batsman scored first 50 off 29 deliveries and took 32 balls to get to next fifty runs. While Desai was dismissed for 34 by Ashish Yadav, Pujara kept striking Railways bowlers.

Riding on Pujara's blistering knock, Saurashtra - the runner's up of 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season - posted 188 runs in stipulated 20 overs.

Pujara also shared an 82-run stand with Robin Uthappa, who scored 46 off 31 deliveries, for the second wicket.

Pujara was even criticised for his slow batting in Test cricket, a format which is meant to test the patience and skill of a batsman. Pujara was unfazed with such criticisms and continued doing what he loves the most i.e. meditate on the pitch and frustrate the opposition bowlers with his resilient batting. He was adjudged the man of the series in India's first-ever Test on the Australian soil and his gritty knocks drew a lot of praise.

One hopes the talented batsman continues his sublime form in the domestic circuit and plays more knocks like this.

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Story first published: Thursday, February 21, 2019, 14:27 [IST]
Other articles published on Feb 21, 2019
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