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He carries India flag, not merely a bat: Gavaskar felicitates Pujara on his 100th Test appearance


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New Delhi: Legendary Sunil Gavaskar on Friday presented a special cap to honour Cheteshwar Pujara for playing his 100th Test.

Prior to presenting the cap, Gavaskar gave a very passionate speech on Pujara’s contributions for India as the entire team stood behind, and had his wife, son and his father beside him.

In his speech, Gavaskar lauded Pujara by saying that whenever he walked into the field with the bat it looked as though he was taking the India flag with him.

He also said Pujara has been a role model for what hard work and self belief and dreams can do.

Gavaskar said: “When you go out to bat, it looks as if you are not just taking the bat with you, you are taking the India flag with you. You put your body on the line for India. You have taken the blows, you have got up and you have made bowlers earn your wicket.

“Every single run that you scored has been a big big plus as far as India is concerned. You have been a role model for what hard work and self belief and dreams can do,” he said.

Welcoming to the 100th Test match club, Gavaskar wished and prayed for Pujara becoming the first Indian to score a big hundred in your 100th Test match and lay the foundation for yet another win here in Delhi.

He also said: “Cheteshwar, when we are playing as kids growing up. We all, whether we are playing at home or down on the street, and in the maidans, we are all dreaming of playing for India. When we do eventually play for India it is an unbelievable feeling.”

“It is a heady feeling. And you want to do that over and over again. To be able to do that you need a lot of hard work, you need plenty of determination. Plenty of self belief to be able to lift yourself up from lean periods and then still focus on getting the job done,” Gavaskar said.

In reply, Pujara said it was an honour to receive the special from Gavaskar and added that legends like him have inspired him.

He said Test cricket is the ultimate format for him because it challenges a player just like life.

“To all the youngsters, I would encourage you all to work hard to play Test cricket for India. I would like to thank my wife, my family, everyone in BCCI and all my teammates who have supported me throughout this journey,” he said.


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