Cheteshwar Pujara's last international century came way back in January 2019, and following a succession of shaky outings, India's Test batting veteran lost his spot after the country's tour of South Africa earlier this year. Pujara, though, subsequently fought his way back into the Indian team's contention by going on a run-scoring rampage in first-class cricket.
In his first three Ranji Trophy games for Saurashtra, he notched two-half-century, including an unexpectedly aggressive 91 off 83 balls against the eventual finalists Mumbai in his first game of the competition. After that, he enrolled in the County Championships for Sussex and started scoring runs at an almost berserk rate. In five games, he scored four hundreds, including two double hundreds, garnering media attention.
“The most important thing was playing so many first-class games. I was preparing for this when I was playing back home before I joined Sussex,” said Pujara in an interview on BCCI.tv.
“In the three games I played for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy, I found my rhythm, knew that I was batting well. It was about getting a big score and so when I had that in my first game, I knew that everything is back to normal now. (I was) finding my footwork, the back lift was coming along well.
“After that, I just wanted to enjoy my game and contribute to the team's success. The most important thing is having a good time on the field. I love this game, enjoy playing cricket, so whenever I am on the field I want to try and make the most of it,” he stated further.
The 34-year-old is likely to play in the rescheduled Test between India and England at Edgbaston which starts on July 01.