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Pujara Has More Double Tons Than Anyone Else This Century

By Rediff Cricket
April 29, 2022 07:06 IST
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Cheteshwar Pujara

IMAGE: Cheteshwar Pujara's double century on debut for Sussex was the 14th of his first class career -- the most for any cricketer since the beginning of the 21st century. Photograph: Cheteshwar Pujara/Twitter
 

Cheteshwar Pujara is back with a bang!

Dropped from the Indian Test team, Pujara smashed an unbeaten double century on his debut match for Sussex in ab English County Championship Division Two match against Derbyshire in Derby earlier this month.

The senior batter was left out of India's Test squad for the home series against Sri Lanka after struggling for runs in the last couple of years.

Pujara, who was not picked at the IPL 2022 players auction, took up a stint with Sussex as a replacement for Travis Head.

Pujara's double century was the 14th of his first class career -- the most for any cricketer since the beginning of the 21st century.

Pujara also becomes the second Indian to score a double century in English county cricket after Mohammad Azharuddin, who hit two double hundreds for Derbyshire.

He also ended a long wait for his century, having gone 52 first class innings without a century before the double century against Derbyshire.

His last century in first class cricket came in January 2020, when playing for Saurashtra he made 248 against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy match in Saurashtra.

Pujara's last century at the international level came in January 2019 when he scored 193 in the fourth and final Test against Australia, to help India draw the match and register their first-ever series triumph Down Under.

Pujara's double century for Sussex also saw him register the most double centuries in first class cricket by an Asian player, going past Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara's tally of 13 double hundreds.

He also etched another record to his name, with the highest individual score on first class debut for Sussex, beating the previous highest score of 152 by Joe Gatting against Cambridge UCCE in 2009.

'It means a lot to me. I was here a week before and even prepared back home. Once I was here and got out in the first innings, I was so disappointed. But I knew that I was batting well and wanted a big one. So, if it's your first game and you get a double hundred, it sets you up for the rest of the season,' Pujara told Sussex's YouTube channel.

Not one to be satisfied, Pujara, once India's most consistent batters, followed it up with another classy knock of 109 in the next game against Worcestershire.

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