The BCCI selection committee officially announced the squads for the upcoming series against West Indies. However, former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar expressed his disappointment with the exclusion of Cheteshwar Pujara, a specialist in Test cricket. Gavaskar criticized the decision, highlighting the poor batting performances of the Indian team in the recent ICC World Test Championship final against Australia. He believed that Pujara was being unfairly singled out as the “scapegoat” for the team’s batting failures, while other players who underperformed in the final were not held accountable.
“Clearly, only one man has been singled out while others also failed. To me, the batting failed. Apart from Ajinkya Rahane, of course, in both innings, he got 89 and 46, nobody else really got runs. Why is he [Cheteshwar Pujara] dropped then? Why is he being made the scapegoat for our batting failures? He has been a servant of Indian cricket, a loyal servant. Because he doesn’t have millions of followers on whatever platforms who would make a noise in case he gets dropped?”
“I mean, you dropped him? That is beyond understanding. What is the criteria for dropping him and keeping the others who failed? He has been playing county cricket. He has played a lot of red-ball cricket, so he knows what it is about. People can play till they are 40 or 39. There is nothing wrong because they are all very fit. As long as you are scoring the runs and taking wickets, I don’t think age should be a factor,”
Gavaskar further added.
Pujara had a dismal time with the bat against Australia in the WTC Final
During the World Test Championship final, Pujara struggled with scores of 14 and 27 runs in the single Test match played at The Oval in London. In contrast, players like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Mukesh Kumar have been chosen for the upcoming tour in the Test squad.
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