Cheteshwar Pujara on Friday joined a select band of 18 other countrymen to score a double century in Test cricket.
Pujara's double century is the first by an Indian in nearly two years. Sachin Tendulkar's 214 versus Australia at Bangalore in October 2010 was the last occasion when an Indian batsman had made a double hundred in Test cricket.
Pujara batted for a marathon 513 minutes, faced 389 balls and struck 21 fours during his epic unbeaten knock at an average of 52.95. The 24-year-old Saurashtra batsman scored an unbeaten 206 and batted for close to nine hours before the hosts declared the first innings at 521 for eight shortly after the tea break on the second day.
With this double ton, Pujara also became the sixth batsman from India to compile a double century against England -- the others being Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (203 not out in 1963-64 at Delhi), Sunil Gavaskar (221 at the Oval, London in 1979), Gundappa Viswanath (222 at Chennai in 1981-82), Vinod Kambli (224 at Mumbai in 1992-93) and Rahul Dravid (217 at the Oval, London in 2002).
Some of the notable others who have scored double century for India in Test matches are Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Vinoo Mankad, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Wasim Jaffer, Navjyot Sidhu, Anshuman Gaekwad, Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Manjrekar.
The likes of Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Dravid, Kambli and Sehwag have multiple double tons.
Pujara, who made his maiden Test hundred (159) two Test matches ago against New Zealand at Hyderabad in August, is widely believed to be the ideal replacement for Rahul Dravid. The youngster has shown the same sort of abilities, that the now retired Dravid possessed, in home conditions in his fledgling international career. But a sterner test of his skills will, perhaps, come when India tours South Africa next season.