Cheteshwar Pujara, the modern day Mr. Dependable that Team India have unearthed, has been one of the most consistent performers in the past couple of years.
Though current skipper Virat Kohli has not really made Indian cricket fans miss the batting prowess of Sachin Tendulkar, it’s a player of the stature of Rahul Dravid in Test cricket that they have missed the most until Pujara emerged as a quality Test specialist. The Saurashtra batsman, who turns 30 years old today, produced a Dravid-esque knock on Day 1 of third Test in Johannesburg as he scored 50 runs off 179 balls to help the visitors post 187 on board at the end of 1st innings.
Pujara’s immaculate resilience isn’t hidden from any Indian cricket fan and he widely is recognised as one of India’s best Test batsman, with some even rating him above captain Kohli in the traditional format of the game.
The BCCI tweeted images of the team celebrating his birthday after the end of the second day’s play. Apart from this, KL Rahul and head coach Ravi Shastri also tweeted images.
As is the case with others who celebrate their birthdays in the dressing room, Pujara’s face was also smeared with cake. “Happy birthday to a well decorated Chintu the Cheetah from the Wanderers,” said Ravi Shastri in his tweet. Happy Bday to a Top Man @cheteshwar1. Hope your sense of humour gets better this year,” said Rahul. Apart from his team mates, there were others back home who wished the batsman. Suresh Raina tweeted his wishes for Pujara.