In less than 3 days from now, Cheteshwar Pujara will be reaching a humongous milestone as he is on the cusp of playing his 100th Test. Not all cricketers who start bright can even come close to this feat. Pujara has proven to be the impregnable wall that has been casted ahead of the bowlers in the longest format of the game.
No matter the land, no matter the country, no matter the conditions, Pujji has always stood tall and defended the citadel fiercely ahead of all the mighty bowlers of the sport. In an interview that felt very personal, he had loads to say about his prolonged career in the whites.
Talking about his journey to Hindustan Times cricket, Pujara said, “It’s been an incredible journey playing for the Indian team for such a long time and it’s not just about the number of Test matches. As a child I have always dreamt of playing for the Indian Test team, when I first got the opportunity in 2010 it became a dream come true moment. From there onwards it’s been an incredible journey. I have enjoyed each and every moment of it. There have been ups and downs, there have been many achievements along the way. The most important thing is my love for the game. Not many people get this opportunity to play for the Indian team. When you have this opportunity you always (try to) make your country proud, make your family proud. There are so many people who help you in your cricketing career, coaches I have worked with. I am thankful to all of them. It’s been a great journey so far.”
He also shed some important light on his incredible numbers, stating, “It means a lot though I am not someone who pays a lot of attention to milestones. When you come closer to a landmark that’s when you realise that you have played so many games. But when you are playing at the international level, each and every Test match is important. I try and pay attention to each and every game. So, for me it is not just about this 100th Test match. Not just 100, but after the 100th Test, each game after that is important. I am hoping this carries on as long as possible.”
Pujara also highlighted his favourite opposition stating, “Yes, you can say that. It is the best team in the world, I have made my debut against them so my first and the 100th Test will be against Australia. They are a competitive side. It is never easy to score runs against them. They are always very expressive, they are very talkative, they bring the best out of me. They always put up a fight, challenge you and I always enjoy that challenge.”