Rajkot: Ace India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, joining state side Saurashtra for the Ranji Trophy final against Bengal, could not continue batting on Day 1 of the five-day contest as he was feeling unwell.
Pujara pushed himself down to No.6 from his usual No.3 position after Saurashtra elected to bat first. The Jaydev Unadkat-led side were 182/4 when Pujara walked out to bat and was looking solid on five from 24 balls. But as his stay at the crease progressed, the 32-year-old looked uneasy and under the weather before eventually failing to continue out in the middle.
Just back from New Zealand where India lost the Test series 2-0, Pujara walked back to the dressing room looking dazed.
It was a blow for the home team who were struggling after the in-form Bengal pacers came back to take four wickets in the second and third session to blunt Saurashtra’s good start.
Saurashtra beat Gujarat in a tense semi-final to reach here while Bengal stunned Karnataka in the last-four clash.
While Saurashtra reached their fourth final in eight seasons, Bengal have not won the competition since 1989-90 when their head coach Arun Lal was part of the team.