Sussex’s captain, Cheteshwar Pujara, scored a century in their first innings against Durham during the ongoing County Championship Division Two on April 7th. The right-handed batter hit 115 runs off 163 balls, with 13 fours and a six, reaching his hundred off 134 balls with consecutive boundaries off Brydon Carse in the 55th over.
Pujara’s outstanding performance in England is nothing new, having accumulated 1094 runs in eight matches last season, averaging 109.40 with five centuries. He scored 624 runs in nine innings during the Royal London One-Day Cup, including three centuries. This form secured his place in the national team, where he scored his 19th Test hundred for India against Bangladesh last year.
Although Pujara had a disappointing Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home, scoring just 140 runs in six innings against Australia, he helped India win the four-test series 2-1. He will aim to replicate his success with Sussex from last season before the ICC World Test Championship final against Australia, starting on June 7th, at the Oval in London.
In a recent press conference, Pujara expressed his desire to win the WTC final for India, having played a crucial role in helping them qualify. Despite his underwhelming performance in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Pujara has a decent record against Australia, scoring 993 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 47.29.
As hosts, England is likely to provide similar conditions where Pujara has fared well, scoring 829 runs in 15 Tests, including a century and five half-centuries. Pujara will play a vital role for Team India in the WTC final.