Out-of-favour India batter Cheteshwar Pujara continues to make waves in domestic cricket as he scored his 17th double hundred on Sunday to put Saurashtra in the driver's seat in their Ranji Trophy 2024 opener against Jharkhand.
Pujara's knock saw him take joint-fourth position on the list of batters with the most first-class double centuries.
Australian legend Don Bradman leads the list with 37 FC double tons followed by Wally Hammond (36), Patsy Hendren (22), Herbert Sutcliffe (17), Mark Ramprakash (17) and Pujara (17).
His knock helped Saurashtra cross the 500-run mark on Day 3 and take the team's first innings lead past 400 by the second session. Jharkhand had been bowled out for 142 thanks to Chirag Jani's five-wicket haul.
This was also Pujara's 8th double hundred in Ranji Trophy, which puts him just behind Paras Dogra's record of nine in the tournament.
Pujara also has three first-class triple-centuries, the last of which came against West Indies A in October 2013.
The 35-year-old has been out of contention from the national Test squad since he featured in the ICC WTC Final against Australia at The Oval in June last year.
A strong show in the Ranji Trophy will help Pujara break open the selection doors and regain his place in the Indian team for the upcoming five-Test series against England later this month.
He fell out of favour with the selectors after a string of low scores in Test cricket over the past couple of years. But a comeback cannot be ruled out for the man who helped India clinch the last two Border-Gavaskar trophies in Australia under Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane's captaincy.
Pujara has so far played 103 Tests in which he's amassed 7195 runs at an average of 43.60 with 19 hundreds and 35 fifties for Team India.