The Board of Control for Cricket in India have recommended Cheteshwar Pujara for the prestigious Arjuna award to be presented in August 2017, according to report.
The batting mainstay of Indian Test enjoyed a highly successful home season which consisted of as many as 13 Tests. Pujara did not start the lengthy Test season on a good note. During the West Indies tour, he scored 62 runs in two Tests before being dropped from the team for the third test. In fact, he was also criticised by captain Virat Kohli for his slow playing style.
The team then returned to India where Pujara featured in the Duleep Trophy with a point to prove. He scored a century, and then a double century in the final to prove his worth. Then began the grand home season against New Zealand where the right-handed batsman finished the three-match series as its highest scorer with 373 runs. He carried his form into the Test series against England too– scoring two centuries and a half-century to score 401 runs in the four-match series.
In the one-off Test against Bangladesh, he scored 83 before starring with the bat once again in the fiercely-fought four-match series against Australia. He was India’s highest run-scorer with 405 runs including a double century and 2 fifties. Overall, he finished the 2016-17 season with 1316 runs which included four hundreds and eight half-centuries.
The BCCI has also recommended women cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur for the award. Kaur has been India’s best limited-overs batswoman in the last season. She was instrumental in India’s T20 series victory against Australia Down Under and also played a big role in Women’s Asia Cup triumph.
“We have sent Cheteshwar and Harmanpreet’s name for the Arjuna award,” a senior BCCI official is quoted as saying by PTI.
“The names have been forwarded to the Ministry of Sports. Both have been exceptional performers during last season and were a unanimous choice from our end,” added the official.