Fifth triple ton for Pujara ...
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There was that unique buzz at the Saurashtra University Stadium on Thursday afternoon, one that generally accompanies an impending historical mark. Cheteshwar Pujara had taken Indian coach Duncan Fletcher's advice to score a triple-hundred to heart, and having achieved the landmark was now fast approaching 400 against a hapless Karnataka attack. Though his innings' tempo did witness a slowdown earlier in the day, the prolific right-hander had picked up his pace now.
Around the same time, a few miles away in the outskirts of Rajkot at Khanderi, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was addressing a press-conference on the eve of his team's first ODI against England. The rest of the squad sans Pujara of course were busy going through their practice routines after the local lad had been given special permission by Fletcher to continue his vigil in the Ranji quarterfinal. As expected Dhoni had to contend with questions regarding Rajkot's favourite son, especially about the chances of him making his ODI debut on Friday.
There was however hardly any challenging queries that were being posed to Pujara, either by the pitch or the Karnataka bowlers, and he continued on his merry way. Unfortunately, the 24-year-old's lengthy essay was brought to an end when he was bowled by Krishnappa Gowtham for 352. His wicket created a lull around the ground, and Pujara too seemed quite disappointed.
He's after all no stranger to triple-hundreds, this being his second in the Ranji Trophy after 302 not out against Orissa back in 2008. That monumental knock had come on the back of a staggering run, which included scores of 308 and 386 in U-22 cricket a couple of months earlier. It's not everyday that a batsman walks off the field looking dejected following a triple-hundred. But when you have an appetite for runs as insatiable as Pujara's, there is nothing called satisfaction in your book.