Cheteshwar Pujara, the veteran Indian batter, was awarded Arjuna Award on Saturday by the sports minister of India, Anurag Thakur. Pujara was not able to collect the award in the ceremony held back in 2017 as he was busy playing for his English County team at that time.
After receiving the award, Pujara took a moment to thank the Indian Cricket Board and Anurag Thakur to organize the event. “Thankful to @IndiaSports @BCCI and @ianuragthakur to organize and handover the Arjuna Award belatedly, which I could not collect the year it was awarded to me due to my cricket commitments. Honored and grateful,” he tweeted.
Thankful to @IndiaSports, @BCCI and @ianuragthakur to organise and handover the Arjuna Award belatedly, which I could not collect the year it was awarded to me due to my cricket commitments. Honoured and grateful🙏 pic.twitter.com/Dokz4ZP3Hs— Cheteshwar Pujara (@cheteshwar1) November 19, 2022
Cheteshwar Pujara’s brilliant run at County Championship
Pujara was under question after his bad performance in the Test series against South Africa. Many said the veteran batter might even lose his spot in the squad as Ajinkya Rahane was also dropped out from the Test side. But Pujara’s red-hot form for Sussex earned him a place in the squad for the one-off Test against England earlier this year, where he scored 13 and 66 in the first and second innings respectively.
Pujara always had a hard run while playing against the fast bowlers. He has played like this all his life, absorbing pressure and wearing down the bowlers, when out of form. He is considered to be the current ‘Wall’ of the Indian Test side because of his strong defensive skills and dependable middle-order batting ability.
The batter has not performed much in recent years for India, but playing in the County championship definitely helped him a lot to play in English conditions. Pujara made an enormous impact in the Championship last year after joining Sussex. He was able to score over 1000 runs, including three record-breaking double centuries, with a brilliant average of 109.4.
It is understood that Pujara will be a part of the India A squad for the upcoming Bangladesh tour. “Pujara might join the India A team only for the second match, but even that will give him useful practice ahead of the Test,” a source told TOI.