Playing against Australia brings with itself its own set of challenges which not every batsman can face. India’s modern-day batting maestro Cheteshwar Pujara though relishes such challenge as he mints runs for fun in the ongoing series down under. The right-handed batsman has played some key innings so far in the four games, batting with great grit and determination. His three centuries has contributed to India’s 2-1 lead as they look to wrap up the Border Gavaskar trophy. So where exactly does Pujara stand compared to the man he replaced in the team-cricket legend Rahul Dravid. Sachin Tendulkar Says Cheteshwar Pujara the Difference Between the Two Teams, As India Outperforms Australia in 2018–19 Test Series
Rahul Dravid’s grace and elegance made him a textbook cricketer who was technically so astute that he could play out virtually the entire day without getting troubled. He loved batting against the Australian be it home or away. Between 1996 and 2012, the Wall played 32 games against the Aussies and scored 2143 runs at an average of 39.68. He scored 2 centuries and 13 half centuries with his highest of 233 coming in the historic Adelaide Test which India won back in 2003. His century in Kolkata Test in 2001 helped India register a win after following on. While his hundred count may be low, he did manage to score a lot of fifties-many coming in at crucial times.
Compared to Dravid ’s masterclass, Cheteshwar Pujara has only managed 16 Test matches in a span of 9 years between 2010 and 2019. But in those games, he has notched up 1622 runs at a majestic average of 60. He has 5 centuries and 7 half-centuries to his credit against the Australians with 204 his highest in the Hyderabad Test in 2013. His 193 in the ongoing Sydney Test may have been a lost opportunity to get a double but it did go long way in swinging the tie in his team’s way. His overall conversion of half-centuries to centuries is wonderful too which is a testament to his concentration against some quality bowling. Cheteshwar Pujara Credits This Man for His Phenomenal Success Against Australia in Ongoing Test Series, Tweets Heartwarming Message!
If we take a look at the statistics, Pujara overshadows Dravid in terms of average and centuries. He is only 30 and has a few more Tests against the Australians to come in the near future. While he trails Rahul Dravid’s runs scored in India-Australia Tests by a mere five hundred odd runs, he will and should easily go past it. Having played in different eras, the two champion cricketers have been a nightmare of sorts for the Oz bowlers putting a heavy price on their wickets. India fragile opening partnerships, particularly on Australian soil, has demanded constant bravado from the duo. Cheteshwar Pujara though will have the distinction to star in both home and away Test series wins for India, something which Rahul Dravid could not.
The overall picture does suggest Cheteshwar Pujara has one up on Rahul Dravid in terms of overall impact in India Australia Tests.