What Cheteshwar Pujara did in Australia circa 2018-19 will not be forgotten in a hurry. 521 runs from four Tests as India registered their first-ever Test series win on Australian soil will forever be counted among the greatest feats by an Indian batsman overseas.
It was not only the runs that will be remembered. Pujara’s effort was an exhibition of Test-batting masterclass, the likes of which the world was beginning to forget.
In a span of 1258 deliveries and close to 30 hours, the man from Rajkot told the world that there is still place for traditional Test batting in the era of franchise-based T20 leagues.
But even as Pujara bullied Australia in their own den, his father Arvind was undergoing a heart surgery at the exact moment he was battling in the fourth and final Test in Sydney.
“Firstly, I was assured by our family doctors before the Test that he would be okay. He needed the procedure because his heart rate was fluctuating. Dr Patil, who carried out the procedure, was in touch with me and told me to not worry.
“I was communicating with my wife, Puja, who was travelling with my father, regularly. I knew he was in the right hands and I could focus on the Test match,” Pujara told ‘The Cricket Monthly’.