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Legendary Indian opener Sunil Gavasakar on Friday (February 17) hoped that Cheteshwar Pujara would become the first Indian to score a century in his 100th Test, adding that the veteran date has been a role model for ‘hard work and self-confidence’. Pujara became the 13th Indian to reach the 100-Test milestone when he took the field in the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia in Delhi.
Flanked by his family and teammates, Pujara, India’s batting mainstay in the game’s longest format, received a special cap from Gavaskar to honor his achievements. “Welcome to the 100th Test club and I wish and pray that you become the first Indian to score a big hundred in your 100th Test and lay the foundation for another victory in Delhi,” said Gavaskar, who was in 125 tests.
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Golden words from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar as he rejoices @cheteshwar1 on his landmark 100th Test ____#TeamIndia | #INvAUS | @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/AqVs6JLO2n— BCCI (@BCCI) 17 February 2023
The former India skipper praised Pujara for putting his “body on the line for India”. “When you go out to bat, it’s like you take the Indian flag with you. You have put your body on the line for India. You’ve taken the hits, you’ve stood up and you’ve made bowlers earn your wicket. Every single run you scored is a big plus for India. You have been a role model for what hard work, confidence and dreams can do.”
The 35-year-old Pujara, who made his Test debut in 2010, has more than 7,000 runs in the format and 19 centuries. “Legends like you have inspired me. As a young cricketer, I always dreamed of playing for India, but I never thought I would play 100 Test matches for India,” Pujara said.
“I believe that Test cricket is the ultimate form of the game and it tests your temper; there are so many similarities between life and Test cricket. If you can fight through the tough times, you always come out on top. I really feel proud and to all the youngsters out there I encourage you to work hard and strive to play for India. Thanks to my family and friends for their support. Thanks to the BCCI, the media and my teammates and support staff.”
(with PTI inputs)
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