4th Test: Pujara within striking distance of another fine achievement, can join Gavaskar, Viswanath, Kohli in elite list
- India vs England: Cheteshwar Pujara has a chance to do what even the great Sachin Tendulkar couldn't.
Cheteshwar Pujara has had a low-key Test series so far against England by his standard. One of the key players responsible behind India's back-to-back Test wins in Australia, Pujara has scored just one half-century in the three Tests, which came in a losing cause. Ever since his innings of 73 in the first Test in Chennai, Pujara has had disappointing outings, scoring 15, 21, 7 and 0 in the second and third Tests.
But on Thursday, when Pujara takes the field against England, the batsman has a chance to join a pretty remarkable list. Currently sitting on 955 runs, Pujara is 45 runs short of totaling 1000 Test runs at home against England. Provided he does that, Pujara will join a list that comprises three of the biggest names in Indian cricket – Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath and Virat Kohli – all of whom have scored over 1000 runs against England on home soil. Surprisingly, Sachin Tendulkar does not make the list, with 960 runs from 15 Tests.
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Gavaskar leads the charts with 1331 runs from 22 Tests at an average of 35.97, followed by Viswanath (1022 from 17 matches at 36.50). Kohli is marginally behind with 1015 runs, but his have taken only 12 Tests and at a healthy average of 59.70. Kohli also has three centuries and four fifties, while Viswanath had three of each. Gavaskar scored eight half-centuries and three hundreds against England at home with a best of 172. As far as individual scores are concerned, Kohli is second with a best of 235, behind Karun Nair’s 303. Vinod Kambli’s 224 is the third-highest individual score against England at home.
Pujara, however, has the most centuries against England at home – 4. His runs have come from 12 matches at an average of 53.05. Pujara has a best of 206 not out against England, which incidentally came in Ahmedabad, at the earlier Sardar Patel Stadium. It is also Pujara's highest individual score in Tests. It's been long since Pujara last scored a century for India. His last three-figure score was notched up against Australia in Sydney, which was in January of 2019, when he scored 193. He has since gone 19 Tests without a century.