India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara continues to shine in the ongoing County Championship Division Two in England. Batting against Middlesex at Lord’s, the seasoned batter smashed yet another century for Sussex on Tuesday.
It was the fifth ton for Pujara this season and first as a county club captain. Prior to the start of the game, regular skipper Tom Haines was ruled out due to injury and hence, the leadership responsibility in the game against Middlesex was handed to the Indian batter.
Pujara’s colossal knock left no stone unturned to frustrate Middlesex, who elected to bowl first, throughout the first day of the game. He was thoroughly backed by Tom Alsop as the duo forged a mammoth 219 runs for the third before Tom Helm, who finished with three for 63, struck late on by dismissing Alsop for 135.
The ace India batter occupied the crease for 261 minutes and faced 182 balls in which he smashed 10 boundaries and six. Pujara returned unbeaten on 115 as Sussex went to stumps at a healthy 328/4.
The video of Sussex stand-in captain’s ravishing knock was shared on the club’s official Twitter handle. “Pujara doing what he does best, scoring runs. @cheteshwar1,” the caption of the video read.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sussex head coach Ian Salisbury explained why Pujara was the first choice for leading the team after Haines got ruled out. In an official statement ahead of Sussex’s clash against Middlesex, Salisbury said, “Puj was very keen to step up in the absence of Tom, he sees the potential in this side and has been a natural leader ever since he joined.”
Pujara has been on a roll in the ongoing season of the County championship. He kicked off his stint with Sussex with a double hundred against Derbyshire, following it up with a century against Worcestershire and another double ton against Durham.
His fourth hundred came against Middlesex in the month of May, which helped him pave his way back to the Indian Test team after getting dropped for the home series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.