Cheteshwar Pujara who has been regarded as one of the finest Test players India has produced is finding it difficult to make the playing eleven of the current Test squad after series of poor performances overseas.
Pujara made his debut against Australia way back in 2010 but it was a temporary stint for him as the likes of Dravid, Sachin and Laxman was in the squad. However he managed to replace Dravid at no.3 position after his retirement and looked mighty impressive in the home series against England by scoring a two centuries in two consecutive matches which earned him the spot. He even managed to attain success against the mighty Aussies at home and it seems that India got the perfect replacement for Dravid.
When it comes to overseas Pujara’s overseas performance, he had a successful tour of South Africa and managed to pile up runs against the likes of Steyn, Morkel and Philander. However, the real struggle came for the Indian batsman during the tour of England where he couldn’t make a mark and it followed with a poor tour of Australia as well in which he eventually lost his place in the side and Rohit Sharma was made as his replacement.
Rohit’s overseas performance has been way poorer than Pujara and he doesn’t seem to be a proper no.3 batsman that India is looking for. Pujara recently returned from a successful county season, but still he couldn’t make the playing eleven against Bangladesh. The Indian skipper Virat Kohli preferred Rohit Sharma ahead of Pujara which didn’t make any sense. The thing which might keep Pujara away from the side is he had problems with his knees which made him slow runner between the wickets and he is not as agile in the field too.
Former Indian Skipper Rahul Dravid recently voiced his opinion about Pujara and said that “A player like Pujara will find the way. He has got the desire, the hunger, he is looking to get better, he has got the technique, and is keen to improve. It is just matter of time that he comes back and get a chance to play in the eleven and one or two scores will change things for him”.
“Pujara is fine, he is a class, quality player. He had a good start to his international career. Then there were a few series which didn’t go the way he wanted. And it is natural, to all cricketers at some stage it happens.”
The decision of keeping Pujara out of the playing eleven doesn’t seem to be a great option for India and a batsman of his calibre should make the playing eleven soon and hopefully during the tour of Sri Lanka.
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