If Cheteshwar Pujara magnificently carried his bat on the first day, throughout Day two and a part of three for India in the Colombo Test, then there have been many other instances when opening batsmen have remained till the end of their team’s innings.
Pujara’s unbeaten 145 on Day three was just one of 49 instances overall in Test history when a batsman has carried his bat successfully till the end of an innings.
Pujara is only the fourth Indian player to do so.
Three other Indian players who achieved that enviable feat:
1) Sunil Gavaskar – 127 not-out (against Pakistan, Faisalabad 1983) – Result – Loss
2) Virender Sehwag – 201 not-out (against Sri Lanka, Galle 2008) – Result – Win
3) Rahul Dravid – 146 not-out (against England, The Oval 2011) – Result – Lost
More recent ones include David Warner’s 123* (against New Zealand, Hobart 2011) and Chris Gayle’s fine 165* against Australia at Adelaide (2009).
If Warner’s effort went in vain with the Aussies losing despite his heroics, Gayle’s knock ensured the West Indies snatched a draw.
Incidentally Pujara just fell one run short of equaling Dravid’s record during his gem of a knock at Colombo.
The highest score by any batsman who has carried his bat through an innings is 223 by New Zealand’s Glen Turner who achieved that feat in the drawn Kingston Test against West Indies in 1972.
The lowest score by a batsman who has carried his bat through an innings belongs to South Africa’s Bernard Tancred who hit an unbeaten 26 in the 1889 Cape Town Test against England which the home side lost quite embarrassingly.
India have been on the receiving end four times overall with Nazar Mohammad (124*, Lucknow 1952), Bill Lawry (49*, Delhi 1969), Mudassar Nazar (152*, Lahore 1983) and Saeed Anwar (188*, Kolkata 1999) performing the feat against them.