India's Cheteshwar Pujara is batting on a whole different level in the County Championship season. A day after he registered his fifth century of the season for Sussex, India's Test specialist took it a notch higher and converted it into a double century. Pujara scored a handsome 231 off 403 balls against Middlesex at the Lord's Cricket Ground and once he was dismissed, spectators at the iconic ground made sure to convey to him how much they loved and appreciated the India batter's effort.
As soon as Pujara flicked the ball on the on-side to complete his double ton, his teammates from the balcony stood up and applauded his effort. Once Pujara flicked Tim Murtagh to hole out in the deep, the entire stadium was up on its feet to applaud one of the finest knocks they had seen.
Starting Day 2 on 115, Pujara had marched to 143 by lunch. He reached 150 having spent 100 overs blunting the Middlesex bowling. After lunch, he temporarily went into attack mode, once smashing leg-spinner Luke Hollman over mid-wicket for six. Apart from this flourish, it was stately progress. Pujara was neither shaken nor stirred. Not even when India teammate Umesh Yadav bowled a sharp spell down the slope from the pavilion end in the afternoon, which included a few short balls.
On reaching 200, Pujara raised his bat to acknowledge the polite applause from the Member’s stand and other spectators. He finished at 231 and must have enjoyed the effort (403 balls, eight hours) and the occasion though he has done this many times before. Such is his hunger that for Pujara this was one more satisfying day at office.