Colombo, Aug 30: Cheteshwar Pujara marked his return to Test cricket with a record performance on Sunday as he joined an elite company of Indian batsmen.
Pujara today became only the 4th Indian batsmen to carry his bat in a Test match. The right-hander from Saurashtra achieved the feat when he remained not out on 145 in the 1st innings against Sri Lanka on the 3rd day of the 3rd and final Test at Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground. India were bowled out for 312 in 100.1 overs.
The 27-year-old Pujara, who was ignored for selection in the previous 2 Tests, came back with a bang. He was asked to open the batting and struck his 7th Test hundred yesterday (August 29). Pujara's inclusion was only possible after the injury to regular opener Murali Vijay.
Overall, in 2,179 Tests, only 49 batsmen have managed to carry their bats.
Gavaskar was the first Indian to do so when he scored 127 not out against Pakistan in Faisalabad in 1983. Sehwag's 201 not out was in Galle in 2008 against Sri Lanka.
Dravid, who is now the coach of India A team, remained undefeated on 146 against England at The Oval in 2011. Dravid too, like Pujara, was a makeshift opener in that Test.
Indian batsmen carrying their bats
Sunil Gavaskar - 127* in 2nd innings Vs Pakistan (Faisalabad, 1983) - India lost by 10 wickets
Virender Sehwag - 201* in 1st innings Vs Sri Lanka (Galle, 2008) - India won by 170 runs
Rahul Dravid - 146* in 1st innings Vs England (The Oval, 2011) - India lost by an innings and 8 runs
Cheteshwar Pujara - 145* in 1st innings Vs Sri Lanka (SSC, 2015) - Match in progress