Rajkot: Cheteshwar Pujara celebrated his call-up to India's ODI squad by first converting a century into a double and then proceeding to notch up a sprightly triple-century off 356 balls on Thursday. His innings – coming off the back of an unbeaten 203 off 221 balls in the previous round – helped his state team Saurashtra qualify for the Ranji Trophy semi-finals.
Pujara, who replaced a struggling Virender Sehwag in the ODI squad for the first three matches against England starting on Friday at his hometown of Rajkot, achieved the feat in the quarter-final of the premier domestic tournament against Karnataka, just over 24 hours away from the first ODI. The 24-year-old began the final day on 261 at the Saurashtra University Ground, and eased himself past 300.
"My plan was to get some practice for the ODI. Once I was set, once I scored my hundred I was in a positive mood and our team was safe," Pujara had told ESPNCricinfo.
Pujara\'s 356-ball triple century in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Karnataka ensured a semi-final berth for Saurashtra.
However, Pujara's ODI debut is uncertain, considering the effort he has put in for three days on the crease just before the first game of the five-match series.