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Cheteshwar Pujara: India's solid No. 3

725430 pujara reutersHe is a man whom nerves don't seem to affect. As if he is studying at a university for a degree which he will never receive and hence his focus is not on the result but the process itself. He does not get bothered by circumstances or the resistance. Furthermore, he prefers runs under his belt rather than style being associated with his batting.

Cheteshwar Pujara's self-restraint and robustness have been monstrous factors in India holding the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Whenever Virat Kohli was looking for one man in the batting line up to raise his hand up and take the responsibility, his search ended in Pujara.

Pujara successfully blunted and stifled a decent Aussie assault and in own way sledged them, not by verbal spats, but by his almost unbreachable defense both against the pacers and the spinner. While it is a popular notion that to win against Australia you need to defeat them in the mental battle, Pujara's mental battle was more with himself than the opposition.

The ever-patient Pujara has even figured out how to modify Kohli's attitude in this series. In the 2014-15 series, Kohli, who had assumed captaincy after M.S. Dhoni declared a surprising and shocking retirement from Tests in Melbourne, did exclude Pujara in the last Test at the SCG. The logic was that Pujara, unfit to constrain the pace at No. 3, was slowing off the Indian innings. Kohli was enthusiastic about energy, on keeping the scoreboard ticking along swiftly.

However, in this series, Kohli contradicted his earlier statement by stating that it is important to hold one end up and bat time in a Test match, especially against a quality attack like Aussies.

Pujara though made a slight variation in his technique which went largely unnoticed. Last time around down under, he was vexed by the additional bounce since he was hunching excessively in his position. At the point when the ball climbed, he was not able to get over the ball and place it down.

However, in this particular series, Pujara was upright and relatively loose in his position, thus in a greatly improved position to play the bouncing ball. He was likewise able to play those shots of the back foot to the point or cover region, so vital on the Australian pitches.

This series Pujara has batted shrewdly, judging precisely the ball on the off stump and just outside off, respecting the nicely bowled balls and feeding on the bowler's looseners. When the ball was over-pitched, he drove through the cover, mid-off or down the ground regions. Anything on his legs, he whipped or glanced. And to much of the critics' surprise, Pujara also mastered the pull shot in this series, scoring a significant amount of runs through that shot.

Pujara utilizes his feet against spinners, however, he has likewise utilized pad-play prudently against the world-class off-spinner Nathan Lyon in this series and made him look completely ineffective in few of his spells. The 30-year-old Pujara eventually managed 521 runs, averaging 74.42 in the 4 Test Series and was rightly judged as the Man of the Series.

Prior to the series, Pujara's unbeaten 132 in Southampton was an innings of character in testing conditions.  He revived the innings with the tail and even played a few big shots towards the end. Thus, Pujara is not the one-dimensional cricketer anymore, which even his skipper has acknowledged a few times.

If India did manage to win the Test Series in Australia for the first time ever, a lot of credit must go to Pujara who doesn't crave attention at all.  It is because Pujara batted the way he did that India managed to achieve the historic feat. May he keeps on batting like that, much to the delight of Indian fans and for people across the globe who love watching top-class Test Match batting.