India has a rich pool of cricketing reserves. Proof of it comes days after the retirement of the much accomplished and highly rated VVS Laxman as a man 13 years his junior gets a chance to play in his stead. Cheteshwar Pujara, making a comeback after an injury lay-off that saw him out for six months, made it count as he slammed his maiden Test hundred to put New Zealand on the back-burner. This despite many questioning his fitness levels.
Several questions had been raised on how the middle-order will cope in the absence of the Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. While early days still, Cheteshwar Pujara's style of play more than the figure next to his name has shown that there is not much to worry about although the path ahead is long.
The 24-year-old walked to the middle after Gautam Gambhir's rather early dismissal in the opening Test of the home-season. While he has faced greater threats under more challenging circumstances earlier, he was at ease from the word go as pacers were employed to attack him from wide off the crease. There was the rare bounce and the occasional one that kept low but Pujara dealt with all that was thrown at him despite losing senior partners at the other end.