Cricket
IND vs ENG: In Virat’s absence should India have opted for Pujara, asks ex-ENG pacer

IND vs ENG: In Virat’s absence should India have opted for Pujara, asks ex-ENG pacer

IND vs ENG: Overall, in 103 Tests, Cheteshwar Pujara has scored 7195 runs, at an average of 43.60.

With no Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, or Ajinkya Rahane in the team for the England Tests, one would have hoped that the young Indian middle-order fired all cylinders. And it did, during the second and third Tests, where India won by comfortable margins.

But then, it was evident, that in case of a collapse, there was hardly an experienced hand, who could bail India out of trouble. And that is what has happened in the fourth Test in Ranchi, where from being 112/2 at one stage, India lost six quick wickets, adding close to 80 runs only.

Spinners Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley operated in tandem, to get wickets with ease, on a pitch that suddenly started offering assistance to the slower bowlers, on day two. And that is where the team missed experience in the middle-order.

Even former England pacer Stuart Broad recognised this problem of Team India and tweeted about the same. He wrote, “With the experience & world class talent of Kohli missing, would there have been temptation to bring back Pujara into this India batting line up? Or is his international career over? Feels like he could have brought some consistency and an anchor.”

Sensational Pujara

Meanwhile, Pujara has been sensational in the Ranji Trophy this season, having scored 783 runs for Saurashtra in eight games, at an average of 71.18. He has scored three tons as well, and has a highest-scored of 243 in the season. With one Test remaining in Dharamshala, it is only sensible to include him in the squad.

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