“I wish and pray, you become the first Indian to score a big hundred in your 100th Test and lay the foundation for yet another win in Delhi.”
These words came from legendary Test opener Sunil Gavaskar during the brief felicitation ceremony for Cheteshwar Pujara minutes before the start of the second India-Australia Test match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Friday.
Gavaskar presented Pujara with a symbolic 100th Test cap in the presence of the batter’s father, wife and members of the Indian Test team.
Striking an emotional note, Gavaskar said, “When we play as kids growing up, we all dream of playing for India. When we do eventually play for India, it’s an unbelievable feeling. And you want to do that over and over again. To be able to do that, you need a lot of hard work, determination, and self-belief to lift yourself up from lean periods, and then stay focused on getting the job done.
“When you go out to bat, it looks as if you are not just taking the bat with you... you are taking the Indian flag with you. You’ve put your body on the line for India. You’ve taken the blows, you’ve got up, and you’ve made bowlers earn your wicket. Every single run you scored is a big, big plus for India. You’ve been a role model for what hard work, self-belief, and dreams can do. Congratulations and welcome to the 100th Test Club.”
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