Cheteshwar Pujara played an instrumental role in India’s first-ever Test series triumph on Australia soil. He was the leading run-getter in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with 521 runs at an average of 74.72 including three centuries.
Pujara scored hundreds in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney to script India’s twin victories in the series. While the Saurashtra batsman amassed 123 in the Test series opener, he notched up the scores of 106 and 193 in the third and fourth Test respectively.
He frustrated the Australian bowlers with solid defence and resolute mindset. The pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood couldn’t able to suppress Pujara throughout the series as he ended up playing a record 1258 deliveries in the four-match Test series, surpassing Rahul Dravid's tally of 1203 balls in the 2003-04 series down under.
Owing to his no-nonsense approach, Pujara’s Indian teammates have started to call him ‘White Walker’ – a character from the highly popular web series Game of Thrones.
In an exclusive chat with bcci.tv, India skipper Virat Kohli revealed the same, saying: “We've named him 'White Walker' from Game of Thrones because there's only either fire or that special dagger that can kill him. I don't think bowlers or cricket balls are going to do any damage to him. At the moment, he is unbreakable so we named him White Walker."
“Pujara is one guy, who is very sure of his own ability. He never questioned any of the calls that team management took. He took it in a stride and realised himself that whatever feedback was given to him by the management, there were things that he himself wanted to work on," he added.
Praising the conviction of India’s eminent No.3, Kohli highlighted how Pujara worked on his game after being dropped from the Edgbaston Test against England last year.
"The way he has accepted the things to come back in the England series and play like that and Australia after having an okay series last time when we came here. And to bat the way he has speaks volumes of his own conviction about his game," he remarked.
“Such a historic Test series win and he is the Man Of The Series and deserving so. The patience and the character he has shown is something that we all can learn from. And we definitely learn from. Pujara teaches us how to be patient," the Indian captain further said.