5 Players Who Debuted With Cheteshwar Pujara But Faded Away

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Cheteshwar Pujara had been a rock in the Indian Test team for the better part of the last ten years, until he was dropped recently from the Test side due to dismal and inconsistent form.

Having made his debut on October 9, 2010, Pujara has featured in 95 Tests for India, in which he amassed 6713 runs at an average of 43. He has struck 18 centuries and 32 fifties. Cheteshwar Pujara also got to play in 5 ODIs between 2013 and 2014, managing only 51 runs.

5 Players Who Debuted With Cheteshwar Pujara But Faded Away

Whether he gets to play another Test or not, Cheteshwar Pujara will go down in Indian Test folklore as one of the most solid, dependable batters due to his batting approach similar to Rahul Dravid.

Around and after the time Cheteshwar Pujara made his India debut, several cricketers have also played for the country but many also faded away sooner than expected.

Here are 5 such players who debuted with Cheteshwar Pujara but faded away.

Saurabh Tiwary

As a youngster, Saurabh Tiwary was one of the brightest talents in Indian cricket, but sadly couldn’t make it big. The Jharkhand batsman burst onto the scene with his MS Dhoni hairstyle and hard-hitting batting, making the first big noise in the 2010 IPL, helping Mumbai Indians reach the final and bagging the Emerging Player of the Season award.

5 Players Who Debuted With Cheteshwar Pujara But Faded Away

Impressive performances everywhere earned him an India ODI cap in 2010. He scored 49 runs in 3 matches before being dropped and never to be picked up again for the country. His IPL numbers took a nosedive too, so did his domestic numbers. He had recently gone unsold in the IPL 2022 mega-auction. The 32-year-old still has plenty of gas left in the tank and continues to play domestic cricket.

Jaydev Unadkat

Saurashtra pacer Jaydev Unadkat made his Test debut in December 2010, as a 19-year-old in South Africa. He had a poor game, conceding 101 runs for no wickets and never got a Test call-up after that.

5 Players Who Debuted With Cheteshwar Pujara But Faded Away

The left-arm seamer got a second wind in international cricket when he played 7 ODIs in 2013, picking up 8 wickets. However, he was soon out of the national setup.

Unadkat continued to grind in domestic cricket and in the last season led Saurashtra to the Ranji Title, while becoming the leading wicket-taking pacer in a single Ranji Trophy season. He is also a regular in the IPL.

Abhinav Mukund

Abhinav Mukund was part of the squad that won the under-19 World Cup in 2008. After slamming loads of runs in domestic cricket – including a triple-century – Mukund got his India Test cap in 2011 on the West Indies tour when both Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were injured.

5 Players Who Debuted With Cheteshwar Pujara But Faded Away

His international career couldn’t really kick off as he’d have expected and remained a backup opener. He featured in 7 Tests between 2011 and 2017, averaging 22 with a couple of fifties to his name. He played in 3 IPL matches combined for CSK and RCB.
However, Mukund plundered over 10,000 first-class runs and more than 4000 List-A runs with his last match for Tamil Nadu coming in 2020.
Varun Aaron
Jharkhand’s Varun Aaron got everyone excited with his high pace, for Indian cricket had rarely had such fast bowlers who could hit the 150 KPH mark. Fast-tracked into the Indian team, Aaron made his Test and ODI debuts in 2011.
5 Players Who Debuted With Cheteshwar Pujara But Faded Away
However, the speedster suffered from frequent injuries and his erratic control of his lines and lengths – he leaked at 4.77 runs per over in Test cricket and 6.61 in ODIs – made him a risky option to pick for then skipper MS Dhoni. Aaron played in 9 Tests and 9 ODIs between 2011 and 2015, snapping up 29 wickets in all before being dropped from the national setup.
He’s been on the radar of IPL teams and has played for 5 different IPL teams in his career.
Parvinder Awana
Delhi pacer Parvinder Awana got his India T20Is cap in December 2012 after giving a tremendous performance in the 2012 IPL, wherein he snared 17 wickets for Punjab. However, his India T20I career lasted for only two matches in which he conceded 71 runs for no wickets.
5 Players Who Debuted With Cheteshwar Pujara But Faded Away
Image source: The Indian Express

He got IPL matches for the next two seasons, in which he bagged 22 wickets but finished on the expensive side of the economy and never played in the IPL after 2014. His last domestic match for Delhi came in 2016 before retiring in 2018.