Aakash Chopra, while expressing his reluctance to form an opinion, has raised questions about India’s strategic approach in the ongoing World Test Championship cycle due to Cheteshwar Pujara’s sudden exclusion from the Test squad. Pujara, who performed poorly in the WTC final against Australia, has been dropped, with youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal likely to take his place in the playing XI.
Chopra highlighted the fact that despite having the same average as Virat Kohli in the last two years, Pujara was unfortunately axed. He also pointed out that Ajinkya Rahane, despite having the worst average in the last two years, has been reinstated in the squad and appointed as vice-captain. Comparing the averages of Kohli and Pujara, Chopra noted their equality, albeit with Kohli playing three matches less. However, the former cricketer remains optimistic that if Pujara works hard and perseveres, he can make a comeback, just as Rahane did in the WTC final against Australia at The Oval.
“Now that Pujara is not there, the question is was it the right decision? I am not going to make an opinion. I’m only going to show a few numbers of Indian batters in Test cricket in the last three years. Rohit Sharma has scored the most runs with an average of 43 in 18 matches. Shubman Gill averages 32 in 16 matches and KL Rahul 30 in 11 matches. Pujara has an average of 29 in 28 matches. Kohli, during the same period, also has the same average as Pujara. The only difference is that Kohli has played three matches less than Pujara.”
He is not getting younger by the day, Indian team has started to look in a different direction: Chopra
“Ajinkya Rahane, who has played 20 matches, his average is the worst in this list, which is 26.50. So these are the numbers based on which Pujara has been axed. You should never say never because when Ajinkya Rahane has come back like that. Cheteshwar Pujara was also dropped in between, and his performance was amazing in county cricket due to which he was given a place again in the team. He did well too (in Tests) but now it seems. The next WTC cycle is starting, he is not getting younger by the day. And maybe the Indian team has started to look in a different direction ”
Chopra further said.
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