Cheteshwar Pujara broke his record of the fastest Test century ever in the first Test between India and Bangladesh at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. His knock was just a little over four hours, making it the shortest innings of his career. However, he made sure to set the tone for a tense contest with a blistering 114 off 105 balls. And that included a four in each of his last two overs.
Table of Contents
Shubman Gill scores maiden Test century
When Shubman Gill reached his maiden Test century, he did it in style. The young Punjabi batter made a flying start to the match against the Bangladesh bowlers. He scored 110 runs off 152 balls, hitting 10 fours and three sixes. In doing so, he became the first Indian opener to score a Test hundred in more than two decades.
In the first innings of the IND vs BAN Test, India built a solid 254-run lead. In the second innings, Gill scored a century. His efforts in the middle order put India on the verge of imposing a 500-run total. The hosts managed to chase down the total in the final day of play.
In the first Test, India made a strong start with captain KL Rahul and opener Shubman Gill. The duo added 70 runs together for the opening wicket. After the break, Shubman Gill got a chance to showcase his attacking shot. He tonked a ball over mid-on for a boundary. But he was soon out for 110. The only good news for Team India was that they were still 254 runs ahead.
On the other hand, Bangladesh were in trouble. They could not get rid of the big-hitting openers and the part-time bowlers in the game. As a result, they were restricted to 42 for no losers at stumps. Luckily, they managed to hang in and give the hosts some time to reorganise. But after that, India started to whittle away at the Bangladesh total. In fact, India piled up 513 runs for victory. This was 95 more runs than the previous world record.
After a nervy start, Gill showed his attacking side. He played some good gaps and made use of his burgeoning technique against spinners. He smashed his 147th delivery to cross the century mark. But he was eventually dismissed by Mehidy Hasan Miraz in the 50th over. This was the only glaring weakness in the batsman’s innings.
On the final day of the Test, Shubman Gill showed great intent. He made a brilliant counter-attacking effort against the Australians. He hit eight fours and a six, with the latter coming on a bad ball. But he was ultimately thwarted by the equivilant of the first six he ever hit. Fortunately, the third umpire affirmed the on-field decision, and Shubman was not out for 80.
In the fourth Test, Shubman Gill played a crucial role in India’s epic series win in Australia. He took a chance against the Australians and pushed them off their feet. His 91 is his highest score in the longest format.
Despite his performance, some former players have criticized Gill for failing to make a real impact in the longest format. It is not unusual to see a batsman score a century in a first-class play cricket game, but the fact that he did so in a Test is a pretty special achievement. Considering the quality of the attack in this game, it was a good sign to see Gill score his maiden Test century.
Pujara’s 19th Test century
Cheteshwar Pujara scored a spectacular century against Bangladesh. He hit 130 balls for his century, which surpassed his previous record of 120 for India in the second innings of the second Test against New Zealand at Hyderabad in 2010. He has now smashed 19 Test centuries, including one double ton.
The Indian cricket team was cruising to victory at stumps on Day three. With India on a 512-run lead, the hosts were only required to score 471 runs to win. Despite a toothless Bangladesh bowling attack, the Indians managed to take a decisive lead. Then, after Tea, Cheteshwar Pujara came to bat and promptly smashed his century in style.
The 102-run knock included 13 fours and a six. This was Pujara’s first triple-digit score in a Test match in almost 48 months. In addition, he took two catches at the silly point. It was a remarkable achievement, especially considering he had been dropped from the Test side in February and scintillating county season in England.
After his impressive century, the fans and media went nuts. They praised Pujara for his “old-school” style of play and hailed him as one of the last vintage-style Test players. He was also hailed for his “fastest test century” ever. This, in a 97-match career, is the fastest for any batsman in the game, according to the ICC.
Besides his brilliant century, Pujara has been instrumental in the success of the Indian team. He played a pivotal role in securing the Border Gavaskar Trophy. He was also a key component in the victory of the Test series against Australia. He has also scored three ton-plus scores in the series, and was the only player to score a double-digit ton in Tests in the series.
It was only a matter of time before Pujara rediscovered his form. After being dropped in March, he returned to the team. After a shaky start, he started to hit the ball with great aplomb. He showed that he had regained his mojo. He reached his hundred in 87 balls, and then struck his second fifty in 43 deliveries. He ended up with a magnificent 102 runs off just 130 balls, with 13 boundaries.
After his hundred, Virat Kohli also hit his second Test century, and he shared a 113-run stand with Shubman Gill. But while the Shubman Gill ton was the first one in the series, it was Pujara’s ton that stood out. His 102 came off just 130 balls, making him the fastest Test batsman to score a century in the longest format of the game. It was his 19th Test century and the first in a decade, after he had previously only achieved one in a match.
Despite losing three wickets in the first 20 overs, India did well to recover and re-establish themselves. With just under three days to spare, the team has a big chance to win. The hosts lost just three wickets in the second innings, enabling them to take a substantial lead of 254 in the first innings. However, they are still four short of their record-chasing target.
First Test century
Cheteshwar Pujara has produced one of the most spectacular performances of his career in the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong. He has broken his century drought and smashed his fastest ever Test hundred against the hosts. In the match, Pujara scored 102 not out, hitting 13 boundaries in a record-breaking 130-ball innings. His century is the fastest in the 97-match history of his career and the 19th in his Test career.
After a slow start, Pujara got going and accelerated towards the back of the Indian innings. He showed expressive batting intent with the bat, using different strokes against spinners. He finished with a strike rate of 89. The fans were delighted to see a player whose form has been in decline recently return to the Test side.
Pujara also played a crucial role in stabilizing India’s innings after India lost three wickets in the first 20 overs. He stepped up after half-century, bringing up his century from just 87 balls. He was on 41 off 81 balls when he was brought on. His wicketless partnership of 119 runs with Shubman Gill helped stabilise India’s innings.
When India lost KL Rahul early, Shubman Gill came in to play and stitched a fifty-run stand with Pujara. Gill’s blistering attack sparked Pujara to take his time in the opening session. He then hit 10 boundaries, including three sixes. His 147-ball innings included three sixes and 10 fours.
After Pujara’s ton, India declared at 258-2, giving Bangladesh a mountain-like target of 513 runs. They had the luxury of not being able to use the DRS as the decision was stayed due to technical issues. In the meantime, the hosts were bowled out for 150.
Pujara made a spectacular return to the Test side after being dropped in February and March. His first Test hundred in almost four years, a 102 not out, was followed by another century in the second innings. He had not scored a hundred in a Test since January 2019 when he batted against Australia in Sydney. He had taken some time off after the match but returned to the squad and smashed his best ton in the fifth Test against England in Birmingham.
After the ton, Pujara continued to play his part in the India team. He was recalled for the rescheduled fifth Test against England in Edgbaston. He was given the opportunity to prove himself as a genuine team-man and he did it beautifully. He was praised by former players for his fine knock. He has returned to his imperious best.
He then proved his mettle against the bowlers, scoring a stormy century in the second innings. His ton was the fastest in his 97-match career, and it was a testimony to his attacking batting. His wicketless partnership with Shubman Gill gave India a firm footing in the game and it proved to be crucial for their success.
Also Read：Who is Smriti Mandhana?