Cheteshwar Pujara was asked to bring a much-needed solidity to the Indian batting line-up in the India Test squad for the South Africa series. On Wednesday, January 24, the 29-year-old batsman did just that.
Patience remained the key for him as he waited and waited to get his first run in the 3rd Test after facing 54 balls.
The Johannesburg Test already saw some quick fall of wickets as India won the toss and opted to bat first on Day 1. While KL Rahul was dismissed for a duck off seven balls, Murali Vijay got out scoring just 8 runs off 32 deliveries.
Pujara is practising abstinence.....— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 24, 2018
It was a tough battle for the visitors as they reached lunch break at 45/2. Pujara and captain Virat Kohli remained not out at the crease.
Pujara stayed on and on and took all the time in the world to get off the mark in the 22nd over of the day. Lungi Ngidi was the bowler. Soon, there was smiles on Pujara's face. His teammates too joined in and applauded his first run.
The Indian batsman took 54 balls to get off the mark. In the process, he not only broke his previous record (35 balls) but also the record of former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, achieved in 2000.
Pujara came just short of breaking England bowler James Anderson's record.
This is the record we are talking of:
The updated list should now feature Pujara in the No 3 position.
Fans on social media as well as the Indian dressing team gave Pujara a standing ovation after he got his first run in the match.
Just ahead of lunch, Pujara's total runs was 5 from 66 deliveries.
Some notable twitter reactions
Pujara is like a person who walks into a bank without an Aadhaar number.— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) January 24, 2018
Just can't open his account.