Cheteshwar Pujara added yet another feather to his cap as he broke a record on the second day of the fourth Test against Australia in Dharamsala on Sunday. The Saurashtra right-hander got off the mark with a boundary and in the process, he eclipsed an eight-year record. (INDIA vs AUSTRALIA: DAY 2 BLOG)
Pujara achieved the landmark for scoring the most runs in a Test season, surpassing the mark of 1269 by Gautam Gambhir which he achieved in the 2008/09 season. In this season, it looked like Virat Kohli would comfortably go past the mark but he had a poor series against Australia in which he managed just 46 runs from six innings. With the Indian skipper missing the Dharamsala Test, Pujara ensured that he would get past the mark. (INDIA vs AUSTRALIA: LIVE SCORECARD)
Pujara notched up his 15th Test fifty but he departed to Nathan Lyon for 57 immediately after the tea break. However, he has scored 1316 runs at an average of 65.8 in the season, the most ever by an Indian batsman in Tests. He needs 168 runs to break Ricky Ponting’s mark, who holds the record for the most runs ever by a batsman in a season, with 1483 runs at an average of 78.05.
Pujara has enjoyed a phenomenal 2016/17. In the series against New Zealand in October, he smashed 373 runs at an average of over 74 with three fifties and one century. In the England series, he scored 401 runs at an average of 50 with two centuries to set up India’s 4-0 series triumph. In the one-off Test against Bangladesh, he slammed 83 while in the current series against Australia, he smashed 92 in Bangalore and 202 in Ranchi.
His Ranchi double ton put him in a prestigious list as he became only the third Indian player after Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman to smash two double centuries against Australia.
Before Pujara, Gambhir had held the record for the most runs by an Indian batsman in a Test season after he enjoyed a phenomenal 2008/09. It all started with scores of 104 and 206 against Australia in Mohali and Delhi in 2008 respectively and the left-hander continued his magnificent form. Against England in 2008, he smashed 179 in the Mohali Test. However, his exploits in the New Zealand series, where he had an epic 11-hour rearguard action in Napier, stood out. His 137 helped India save the Test and his 167 in Wellington ensured that India had won their first Test series against New Zealand in 41 years.
Pujara’s solidity and consistency in this season has been pivotal in India’s dominant run and India will be hoping that he chips in with another big score as they look to win back the Border-Gavakar Trophy.