Pujara IPL career: The Indian Test batsman was last seen playing in the Indian Premier League for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2014.
During the third day of the fourth Test of the ongoing India’s tour of England at The Oval, India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has become a source of amazement for one and all after improving his team’s run rate due to his presence in the middle.
In what is a rare-case scenario, Pujara has been among the boundaries from the word go scoring three boundaries against Ollie Robinson, Craig Overton and Moeen Ali during his brief stay before the lunch break.
It’s not often that this has been said: Pujara has come in and dragged the innings forward #INDvENG
— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) September 4, 2021
In what was his fourth boundary, second off Overton, Pujara ended up twisting his ankle to be in significant pain in the afternoon session. Pujara, who continued to bat despite slight discomfort, scored three more boundaries in quick succession and is currently batting at a strike rate of 70+.
While Pujara is visibly seen batting with positive “intent”, he has also been helped by some mediocre bowling from the opposition. Given the situation of the match, India would want both Pujara and Rohit Sharma to convert their starts into match-winning innings.
Pujara IPL career
Pujara, who has scored seven boundaries till now, has forced fans to ponder about his career in the Indian Premier League. Pujara, the last of whose five ODIs had come in 2014, had also played his last IPL match the same year.
It was in 2010 that Pujara had made his IPL debut for Kolkata Knight Riders. After spending a year at KKR, Pujara had moved to Royal Challengers Bangalore for as many as three seasons. It was in 2014 that Pujara had played his first and last season for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings).
In 22 innings in the cash-rich tournament, Pujara has scored 390 runs at an average and strike rate of 20.53 and 99.74 respectively. Pujara’s solitary IPL half-century had come in a 102-run opening partnership alongside Chris Gayle in KXIP vs RCB clash in Mohali. The match is fondly remembered for David Miller’s maiden IPL century in which he scored a stroke-filled 101* (38).
It is worth mentioning that Pujara might get to play an IPL match after seven years in the next month or so. It was during the IPL 2021 auction that Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings had bought Pujara at his base price of INR 1 crore.