Rajkot: Prolific Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Monday expressed his glee at being picked for the first time in the Indian Test team to take on Australia, and said he has fulfilled his mother's dream.
"It was my mother's dream that I play for India and after getting selected in the national squad I am delighted to fulfil my mother's desire" the 22-year-old middle order batsman said from Chandigarh, where he is playing for his employers Indian Oil in an inter-corporate tournament.
Rajkot-born Pujara, who has been very consistent since his debut in Ranji Trophy five years ago, has often been compared with Rahul Dravid for his ability to stay at the wicket for a long time and make big hundreds.
"After performing in every season, I was confident that one day I would get chance to play for the country," said the youngster, who scored three triple centuries, including a career-best 302 against Orissa in the Ranji Trophy, in a span of one month last season.
Test call-up dream-come-true moment for Pujara
He has so far played 45 Ranji ties for Saurshtra and amassed 3416 runs, including 12 hundreds, with healthy average of 56.00. Overall his first class average is just over 60 from 49 matches.
Pujara, who edged out the out-of-form Yuvraj Singh in the squad picked today at Chennai, represented Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League last year.
Pujara's father Arvind, a former cricketer, said his son's selection has offered him a big challenge to prove himself at the international level.
"This is a very good chance given to Chintu (Cheteshwar) by the national selection committee and now he has to prove himself at international level against a formidable side like Australia," Arvind Pujara said.
"There has always been a very stiff competition for the middle order slot as the country has lots of young and talented batsmen, but we all are happy that Chintu has been selected," he said.
"He has been working hard since his childhood and has a dream to play for the country. Now his dream has come true," said Pujara senior, who had represented Saurashtra and Railways as a wicket keeper-batsman in Ranji Trophy.