Xtra Time Web Desk: Team India batter Cheteshwar Pujara’s recent form in County Championships could be a great solace ahead of the much-anticipated ICC World Test Championship Final against Australia to be played at the Oval from June 7-11. With Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul being ruled out because of injuries, Pujara’s role becomes even more important for WTC Final.
While most of the Indian players are busy playing in the ongoing IPL 2023, Pujara has decided to hone his skills in the County circuit. He will be determined to improve his test records in England. So far in his 15 tests and 30 innings, Pujara managed to score only 829 runs at an average of 29.60. He has scored only one test hundred on English soil. It will be a stiff challenge no doubt against the likes of Cummins, Starc and Hazzlewood at the Oval. But for India to do well, Pujara must make a big contribution.
Pujara has been in scintillating form in the English County Championships, captaining Sussex. The Indian batting mainstay has already scored three hundreds in four matches for Sussex, his last ton coming against Worcestershire on Friday.
In his first match for Sussex, Pujara slammed a ton against Durham. He scored 115 and 35 in both the innings respectively to help his side register a two-wicket win. However, in the next match, the Indian batter failed miserably in both innings against Yorkshire. The Sourashtra batter did bounce back in his next match against Gloucestershire, scoring 151 off 238 balls with 20 fours and two sixes.
In the last match against Worcestershire, Pujara hit a brilliant century of 136 runs off just 189 balls with the help of 19 fours and one six. Pujara’s ton helped his side script a memorable victory.
Can Cheteshwar Pujara rise to the occasion and play a big role for India in WTC Final, only time will tell.