India's Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara warmed up nicely for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka at home by hitting a fine double hundred in first class cricket, surpassing Vijay Merchant's 70-year-old record as the Indian batsman with most double-centuries.
Pujara now has 12 double hundreds in first class cricket, one more than Merchant. Two of Pujara's 12 double tons are triple hundreds.
Pujara hit a patient double hundred ensuring a huge first innings total of 553 for 9 for Saurashtra against Jharkhand in a group B encounter of the Ranji Trophy on Thursday.
At stumps on the second day, Jharkhand were 52 for 2 with Jaydev Unadkat removing both openers Shasheem Rathour and Nazim Siddiqui.
The day once again belonged to Pujara, who scored 204 off 355 balls hitting 28 boundaries in the process. He was a picture of concentration batting close to 9 and half hours (566 minutes) and was the ninth Saurashtra batsman to be dismissed.
Along with Chirag Jani (108), Pujara added 210 runss for the seventh wicket which knocked the stufing out of Jharkhand bowlers. Jani played 203 balls and hit 18 boundaries in the process.
The knock came at a good time for Pujara, who had gone without a half-century in his last 10 first-class innings.
At his home ground, where he has scored tons of runs, the India No 3 was back in his element, concentrating long and hard, punishing the loose deliveries and making a mockery of another domestic attack.