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Pujara: ‘Epitome of class, composure & technique’ turns 32

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New Delhi: Cheteshwar Pujara on Saturday turned 32 and on the occasion, the cricket fraternity came in unison to wish the batsman, who is India’s batting mainstay when it comes to Test cricket.

He played an instrumental role in India’ maiden Test series win in Australia in 2018-19. He scored 521 runs, including three centuries, in the four-matches he played in that series and won Player of the Series award. He scored hundreds in Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth in trying conditions to enthrall the cricket world.

“An epitome of class, composure and technique, here’s wishing Team India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara a very happy birthday,” tweeted BCCI.

“Pujara needs priest’s blessing to get out! Happy birthday Cheteshwar Pujara. Have a great one,” tweeted Sachin Tendulkar in Marathi.

“Many more happy returns of the day to an absolute batting great of this generation – Cheteshwar Pujara. India very lucky to have someone like you and wish you lots of success in the coming years,” said Mohammad Kaif.

Pujara’s teammate Wriddhiman Saha wrote: “Happiest Birthday Cheteshwar Pujara. May you be gifted with life’s biggest joys and never-ending bliss.”

“Many more happy returns of the day Cheteshwar Pujara. Wishing you a great year ahead,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.

Mayank Agarwal wrote: “Happy Birthday Cheteshwar Pujara! May this day be the start of a year filled with good luck, good health and much happiness.”

Pujara has scored 5,740 runs in 75 Tests at an average of 49.48. Having made his Test debut in October 2010, Pujara has so far scored 18 centuries and 24 fifties.

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Pacers shine for India on Day 2 of warm-up game

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Hamilton: Indian pacers came out with a remarkable performance on second day of the practice game against New Zealand XI being played at the Seddon Park.

On Saturday, the four Indian pacers — Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini — all bowled on immaculate line and lengths and bundled out New Zealand XI for 235.

While Shami was pick of the Indian bowlers as he picked up 3 for 17, Bumrah, Umesh and Saini picked two-two wickets each. Ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin scalped the remaining one wicket.

For New Zealand XI, Henry Cooper top scored with 40 while Rachin Ravindra and captain Daryl Mitchell contributed with 34 and 32 respectively.

With a lead of 28, Indian openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal then came out all guns blazing in the second innings and accumulated 59 runs in the seven overs they played before Stumps.

While Shaw scored 35* off the 25 balls he faced (5 fours and a six), Agarwal too smashed 23 runs off 17 balls (4 fours and a six), swelling India’s lead to 89.

In their first innings, India had been bundled out for 263 riding on Hanuma Vihari’s 101 and Cheteshwar Pujara’s 93.

Brief Scores: India 263 all out and 59/0 (Prithvi Shaw 35*, Mayank Agarwal 23*); New Zealand 235 all out (Henry Cooper 40, Mohammed Shami 3/17

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