Cheteshwar Pujara: Derbyshire sign India Test batsman

Cheteshwar Pujara
Pujara averages 49.26 in Tests but had a poor series against England this summer

Derbyshire have signed India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on a short-term deal for their final three County Championship fixtures of the season.

Pujara, 26, part of India's well-beaten side in this summer's Test series against England, was not named in the squad for the forthcoming one-dayers.

He has since returned to India and is not currently due to join up with Derbyshire until early September.

That would leave him free to make his debut against Glamorgan on 9 September.

"Pujara joining us at this stage of the season is a real boost for the lads," said Derbyshire elite performance director Graeme Welch. "We're an ambitious team and have an exciting group of players who are developing fast.

"With Shivnarine Chanderpaul now back in the West Indies preparing for Test match action and Marcus North focusing on our one-day campaign, Pujara will bring an added dimension to the side as we look to finish our Championship season strongly."

Derbyshire's remaining County Championship Division Two fixtures
31 August-3 September: v Worcestershire (Derby, 11:00 BST)
9-12 September: v Glamorgan (Cardiff, 10:30 BST)
15-18 September: v Surrey (The Oval, 10:30 BST)
23-26 September: v Leicestershire (Derby, 10:30 BST)

Pujara has made 24 Test appearances for India, averaging 49.26, and scored centuries in successive Tests (206 not out at Ahmedabad and 135 at Mumbai) against England in November 2012.

But his form went downhill this summer as, after hitting a half century in the first Test at Trent Bridge, he averaged only 22.00 from 10 innings in the five-match Test series.

However, he impressed against Derbyshire in the tour game prior to the Test series, making 81,

Derbyshire, relegated a year ago, currently lie seventh in Division Two, with promotion hopes extremely slim as they stand 62 points adrift (with a game in hand) of second-placed Hampshire.

They are 35 points ahead of bottom club Leicestershire, who they play in their final game.

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