‘Definitely see him playing the first Test’ – Aakash Chopra rubbishes reports suggesting Cheteshwar Pujara’s axing
Pujara recently struggled in the WTC final and was troubled by the Blackcaps seamers.
Updated - Jul 16, 2021 6:47 pm
After India’s bitter loss against New Zealand in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, several questions were raised by experts, and critics on the team’s batting failure. While the likes of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant didn’t cop much criticism, Cheteshwar Pujara foudn himself under the firing line.
Pujara struggled in the WTC final and was troubled by the Blackcaps seamers, who relentlessly kept asking him some tough questions. The right-hand batter could only manage 8 and 15 runs and could not get going when India needed him the most. Indian skipper Kohli spoke about few changes going ahead during the post-match presentation.
Now former India opening batter Aakash Chopra though has backed Pujara to play in the first of the five-match Test series against England starting on August 4, despite the fact that he has not score a century in the last two years.
“Reports come but I am not believing that news because the last time India had toured England, Cheteshwar had scored a century. Yes, I know what you are thinking that his average is less than 30 in England and he has toured there two or three times,” Aakash Chopra said in an uploaded video on his Facebook page.
“But I definitely see Cheteshwar Pujara playing in the first Test match. In my opinion, at this point, I will not touch him. I will continue with Cheteshwar Pujara,” he added.
Aakash Chopra feels Cheteshwar Pujara’s method is suitable for him
Although Pujara has averaged a modest 28.03 since scoring his last hundred against Australia in 2019, Aakash Chopra feels he is just one score away from finding his rhythm back and has backed his method of playing slowly, before getting going.
“He didn’t score runs recently in the WTC as well. His style of play is very good for him, the team also benefits a lot at times but repeatedly controversy raises its head that you are taking so much time and not moving the game forward.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator further concluded by saying that he expects Pujara to better his England record and do well in the coming WTC cycle. “I will also expect from Pujara, his average of 29 in England and the same average in the two-year WTC cycle, that’s not what Pujara is made of. He played all the matches, there were some important knocks, but the big runs have not come,” the commentator stated.