Discarded India star reaches major milestone in first-class cricket; joins Tendulkar, Dravid, and Gavaskar in elite list
Despite falling down the pecking order, a discarded Indian star has carved his name up among the stalwarts of Indian domestic cricket. The veteran batter became the fourth player to cross 20,000 runs in FC cricket during the ongoing 2024 Ranji Trophy season.
In a match between Saurashtra and Vidarbha, Cheteshwar Pujara has achieved the landmark in his 260th fixture at an average of 51.96. Before Pujara, stands Indian coach Rahul Dravid (23,794 runs at 55.33), the legendary Sachin Tendulkar (25,396 runs at 57.84), and the iconic Sunil Gavaskar (25,834 runs at 51.46).
Pujara has proven to be a prolific run-scorer in Ranji cricket and a crucial figure in the middle order for Sussex, his county cricket side in England. The Indian batter, who plays at number three, has featured in 103 matches for India, accumulating 103 runs at an average of 43.61.
Pujara has been overlooked from the Indian Test side recently
Pujara has not been in contention for recent Test matches but during his prime, he stood out as one of India's primary run-scorers in overseas conditions. His proper technique, temperament and unwavering determination have been key assets for tackling pace bowling. In subcontinent conditions too he boasts of an impressive record and excels as a player of spin bowling as well.
Although he has not been selected in the squad announced for the first two England Tests, he has continued to pile on runs for Saurashtra as he has always been doing in the Ranji Trophy over the years. Following the World Test Championship final against Australia, Pujara found himself omitted from the Indian side, losing his spot to Shubman Gill, who assumed the number three position in overseas tours.