ESPN Cricinfo's Alan Gardner looks at the arrival of India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara to county cricket with Derbyshire County Cricket Club. To read full article, click here>>
Those perusing the scorecard from Cardiff might pass quickly over the contribution of CA Pujara, who fell lbw to J Allenby on the second morning.
Plenty of batsmen have suffered similar fates: Jim Allenby has taken almost 200 first-class wickets for Glamorgan with his niggardly medium pace. Pujara's seven runs, coming from 26 balls in 27 minutes, constituted his first outing for Derbyshire, having been given dispensation by the BCCI to play the final few weeks of the season. Welcome to county cricket, son.
Perhaps it was to be expected. Cheteshwar Pujara, one of only nine men to have scored three first-class triple-hundreds, has not played for three weeks and that was when rounding off India's miserable 3-1 Test series defeat, during which he averaged 22.20 with one fifty. His response to failure, having come to England feted as the successor to Rahul Dravid at No. 3, was also no surprise: practice.
Growing up in Rajkot, Pujara's technique was honed facing thousands of under-arm throwdowns from his father, Arvind. In James Astill's book, The Great Tamasha, Arvind relates how he identified his son's talent at only a few years of age, simply from the way in which he watched the ball. He also describes the temperament that brought Cheteshwar a Test debut at the age of 22 and an average of 66.25 by the start of 2014: "If he scores runs, he thanks God. If he fails to score runs, he says it is God's will."
Wayne White produced a fine all-round display, scoring a quick-fire 38 before taking four wickets, but it was Glamorgan who enjoyed the better of Day Two at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff.
Graeme Welch's men lost regular wickets to be dismissed for 203, a first-innings deficit of 79. Number nine White top-scored with 38 off just 22 balls, while Gareth Cross added 30.
White then took four wickets in an extended final session of the day to reduce Glamorgan to 145-5 at stumps, a lead of 224.
Derbyshire began Day Two on eight without loss, having only faced three overs the previous night. That score was advanced to 16 with two Billy Godleman boundaries before he was adjudged lbw to Graham Wagg (3-56) for eight.
Fellow opener Ben Slater had begun well but also fell when Dean Cosker caught him off Wagg's bowling for 18 to bring Cheteshwar Pujara to the middle, the India Test batsman's first innings for the county.
Tony Palladino and Mark Footitt both claimed three wickets as Derbyshire dismissed Glamorgan for 282 on the opening day of the LV= County Championship fixture at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff.
Palladino was economic as ever, returning figures of 3-34 off 21 overs, while Footitt continued his good run of form with 3-61 from 21.1 overs as the hosts were dismissed shortly before stumps on Day One.
Chris Cooke top-scored with 74, while former Derbyshire all-rounder Graham Wagg added a brisk 62, as Glamorgan recovered from 158-6 to post 282 after winning the toss.
Derbyshire safely negotiated the three overs left in the day to close on eight without loss, with Ben Slater (4*) and Billy Godleman (0*) the not out batsmen.
Palladino, Wes Durston (2-69) and Wayne White (1-28) claimed a wicket apiece in the morning session to reduce Glamorgan to 81-3 at lunch, after the hosts had elected to bat first.
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara joined pupils at Dale Primary School as well as the Mayor of Derby City, Cllr Shiraz Khan and the Leader of Derby City Council, Ranjit Banwait, for the launch of the Cricket Derbyshire Foundation yesterday.
The Cricket Derbyshire Foundation (Registered Charity No. 1155801), a joint initiative between the professional Club and Derbyshire Cricket Board, aims touse the power of sport to educate, motivate and inspire children, young people and adults living in Derbyshire.
Superstar India batsman Pujara was joined by Derbyshire teammates Captain Wayne Madsen and wicketkeeper Tom Poynton at Dale Primary School, a local inner-city community school, for the charity’s official launch.
Cricket Derbyshire Director of Partnerships, Ryan Duckett said: "The Cricket Derbyshire Foundation is enhancing the work already being done by the Club and Derbyshire Cricket Board. It is delivering wider and more diverse projects to benefit people in Derby City and across Derbyshire.
Wayne Madsen says his side is full of confidence as they go into the final three games of the LV= County Championship season, starting with Glamorgan on Tuesday.
Madsen scored 98 as Derbyshire wrapped up a 138-run over Worcestershire to record their third successive four-day victory last week, and now they hope to extend their winning run at Cardiff this week.
“The win is special, but to win three in a row as a team is amazing,” Madsen said. “Having had the season that we’ve had so far and the way that we started, it gives us a lot of confidence going into the final three games.
“The atmosphere in the changing room at the moment is one that you don’t often get because winning four-day games is always special, but to win three in a row is great for the team. Now we want to make it four.
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara says he’s looking forward to his spell with Derbyshire and hopes he can play a leading role as the county look for a strong finish to the season.
Pujara will be available for Derbyshire’s final three LV= County Championship games this season, starting with the trip to Glamorgan starting on Tuesday (10.30am start).
The 26-year-old, who was talking at today’s official launch of the Cricket Derbyshire Foundation at Dale Primary School, says he can’t wait to get started.
“I’m looking forward to a good few weeks with Derbyshire,” Pujara said.
“I’ve been to Derby before during India’s Test warm-up match in July. I love Derby because it’s a small town; there’s a quietness about it that I like.
“When I was here with India, we had a conversation about staying here to play and I am really happy that it has worked out.
Cheteshwar Pujara will make his Derbyshire debut as Derbyshire travel to Cardiff to face Glamorgan, starting on Tuesday 9 September (10.30am start).
Graeme Welch’s men have won their last three four-day fixtures, with victories over Gloucestershire and Glamorgan in July, followed by last week’s dramatic final-day win versus Worcestershire.
It’s the first time the county has been triumphant in three successive Championship games since 2002 and Derbyshire now travel to South Wales as they look to make it four in a row.
Glamorgan currently sit eighth in Division Two, 14 points behind Derbyshire having played a game more. Wayne Madsen’s side came out on top when the two teams met in July at The 3aaa County Ground, as eight wickets in the match from Mark Footitt helped guide his side to a six-wicket win.
Billy Godleman has signed a new one-year contract with Derbyshire for the 2015 season.
The 25-year-old played a leading role in Derbyshire's run to the quarter-final of the Royal London One-Day Cup, scoring 264 runs at an average of 37.71, including a top-score of 96.
The former England Under 19s captain has also added four fifties in LV= County Championship cricket this season, as well as a half-century in each innings of the tour match versus India.
Elite Performance Director, Graeme Welch said: "Billy has integrated into the team very well. He has improved as an individual and is going to get a lot of work this winter on his batting and we will see where that takes us.
"Ant (Botha) has been doing something technically with him and we are actually seeing an improvement during the season, which has created hope that he can kick on - because he has been stuck in quicksand for the last two or three years.
Shiv Thakor says the chance to join Derbyshire was too good to turn down and he can’t wait to start working with Graeme Welch and his coaching team.
The 20-year-old turned down a number of alternative offers to sign a two-year deal with Derbyshire, committing his future to the county until the end of the 2016 season.
Thakor said: “Leicestershire gave me my initial opportunity in the professional game which I am very grateful for. I would like to thank the staff, board and most importantly the supporters at Leicestershire.
“It's been a tough decision to leave the county that has given me my start in professional cricket, but I am now looking to take the next step in my career and I felt it was time for a new challenge.
“I want to take my game to the next level and put myself in the best position to play for England in the future. Having spoken to Graeme and the rest of the coaching team, there is no question that Derbyshire is the best place at this time.
“It’s an exciting time to be at Derbyshire and I couldn’t pass the opportunity to join.
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