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Questions Arise On Not Selecting Cheteshwar Pujara In The Absence Of Virat Kohli

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India will not be playing an inexperienced squad for a Test match for the first time. Do you recall the Gabba tie from 2021? The bowling assault was spearheaded by Mohammed Siraj, who entered the game late in the series. However, India’s batting lineup against England in the third Test of the five-match series on Thursday at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot will consist of a group of rookies since KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will both be out from the game for their separate reasons. Ahead of the game, veteran Indian player Karsan Ghavri attacked the BCCI selection committee, saying they should have included Cheteshwar Pujara since he was the “great replacement to Kohli” and the team’s main worry.

Performing Pujara In Domestics

A 103-Test veteran, Pujara, 36, was left off the roster by the selectors despite his incredible success in the current Ranji Trophy season, where he recently scored his 62nd first-class century in the match against Rajasthan. Pujara last appeared in the World Test Championship final in June 2023. It was his second century of the year; in six games, he scored 648 runs, including two fifties, placing him among the tournament’s best run scorers.

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Pujara’s comeback appeared imminent ahead of the third Test, even though the selectors made it clear last year that they are ready to consider younger alternatives. Rahul was sidelined due to injury, Kohli was absent due to personal reasons, and Shreyas Iyer was discarded because of his poor record. However, India chose to keep Sarfaraz Khan in the starting lineup and then replace Rahul with Devdutt Padikkal.


Why Pujara is Not Selected?

“The decision to bench Cheteshwar Pujara is beyond me. On the eve of the third Test at Rajkot, Pujara’s home ground, Ghavri told PTI that “he should have been in the Indian team right from the first Test.”

Virat Kohli was initially supposed to miss the first two Tests, and it has now been revealed that he won’t be playing the final three Tests either. The 72-year-old said, “Cheteshwar was not just the best substitute but also the best player they ought to have included.

Ghavri, who praised Pujara’s perseverance, said he wouldn’t be shocked if the batsman returned to the Indian squad after a successful domestic campaign.

“He is still fighting, he is still in good form, he is very much in good shape and even if he comes back, I won’t be surprised,” Ghavri stated.

Pujara will play in Saurashtra’s final league game against Manipur starting on Friday. On Wednesday, he was honored alongside Ravindra Jadeja and Jaydev Unadkat following the renaming of Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in honor of seasoned cricket administrator and former first-class cricketer Niranjan Shah.