Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates his century during the first day of the fourth and final cricket Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, January 3, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Cheteshwar Pujara, the marathon man of Indian cricket, wants to be called a Test player even in his next life. The No. 3 batsman, who has piled up 521 runs at an average of 74.72 in the ongoing Test series against Australia, said: “I love to play Test cricket even in my next life, if Test cricket is going on. If I have an opportunity, I would love to play Test cricket because that is the ultimate challenge.”

Pujara feels that Test cricket is the best test of one’s temperament. “In a T20 game you can get away with so many things but when it comes to your character, when it comes to your temperament, so many things which you can describe as a cricketer can only happen in Test cricket. So even in my next life I would prefer to be called as a Test player,” he told BCCI.tv.

Pujara has so far faced 1,258 balls during the course of all knocks in this Test series. 

His ability to stay on at the wicket made a frustrated Australia spinner Nathan Lyon even ask Pujara whether he isn’t bored yet, batting so long.

When Pujara was asked whether there has been instances of bowlers getting tired bowling at him, he said: “It would have happened in first-class cricket. I’m sure, I’ve got three first-class triple hundreds so I’m assuming that some bowler would have told such thing. I can’t remember but I’m sure it has definitely happened in first-class cricket.”

From a very young age, coaches and players have found it hard to get rid of Pujara. There is an instance of a coach during a West Zone Under-14 tournament telling the boys playing against Pujara’s team: “Don’t waste time getting Pujara out. Focus on others.” Pujara was only 12-year-old then.

Pujara is a good table tennis and badminton player and challenged BCCI TV interviewer Anand Subramaniam to win even one game against him. “When you win one single game, I’ll do another interview with you,” he told Subramaniam.