Pujara scored his maiden Test century against New Zealand on Day 1 and helped India dominate most of the second session and third and also lived up to the expectations, as he showed the temperament of Rahul Dravid and played a magnificent role.
Pujara's innings included 15 boundaries and a six. He walked in after Sehwag's dismissal in the 15th over of the innings and batted throughout the day as he remained unbeaten on 119.
Though he cannot be compared with the giant after one knock, but it definitely was a positive sign for India as youngsters like Pujara and Virat Kohli played well to sustain the innings as the two dominated the second innings after the fall of Sachin Tendulkar.
With Virender Sehwag (47), Gautam Gambhir (22) and Sachin Tendulkar (19) falling early, the team's batting sorely depended on these two youngsters as they responded quite well with a solid 125-run stand for the fourth wicket, which was indeed a welcome change, as the retirement of greats like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid had created a huge void in the batting order.
Virat Kohli on the other hand also ensured that there is no further damage as India had lost three early wickets on Day 1, and played a matured innings. Man in form, scored his fourth Test fifty to help India post 182/3 at Tea on Day 1.
After Virat Kohli's dismissal, Suresh Raina walked in but did not make use of the opportunity as he scored just 3 runs off 13 balls.
With team management and selectors banking on Raina, the middle-order batsman disappointed as he hardly created an impact when there was a need to perform.
Having scored just 97 runs for the loss of two wickets in the first session, there was definitely a lot of improvement in the following sessions as they scored 182/3 at Tea and finished the day with 307/5.
With New Zealand doing their bit in the initial stages of the innings, Doug Bracewell and Trent Boult were outstanding as they picked the main wickets of Gambhir, Sehwag and Tendulkar.
But the last two sessions on Day 1 was thoroughly dominated by Cheteshwar Pujara, as the man showed a lot of confidence and was promising after being promoted ahead of Virat Kohli at No 3.
India: MS Dhoni (Captain, Wicket-keeper), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav, Zaheer Khan, R Ashwin, P Ojha
New Zealand: Ross Taylor (Captain), Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Mark Guptill, K van Wyk (wicket-keeper), Jeetan Patel, T Boult, Chris Martin, Doug Bracewell, BJ Watling, D Flynn
Umpires: Steve Davis (Australia) and Ian Gould (England)
Third Umpire: Vineet Kulkarni (India)
Match referee: Chris Broad (England)