England vs India: Aakash Chopra affirms one Indian batsman as a must in the Test lineup

He also called for Shikhar Dhawan's exclusion from the lineup.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Cheteshwar Pujara, the Rajkot-born cricketer, hasn’t had the best of times in his cricketing career of late. He played for Yorkshire in the County Championship and could muster only 172 runs in 12 innings. Moreover, he couldn’t score a single half-century in the event. He also was unable to perform in India’s practice match against Essex in Chelmsford having scored only 24 runs in the two innings.

India, captained by Virat Kohli, is scheduled to play a five-match Test series, the first of which starts the day after tomorrow at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Pujara has played a number of resilient knocks in his Test career and is touted to be a stalwart of the batting lineup. Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra, the cricketer turned commentator, reckons that Pujara is an indispensable member of the Indian team.


Shikhar Dhawan has to go, but not Pujara

“There’s no way you can drop Pujara. Rahul is doing well, but Pujara has to be in the playing XI. I will be heartbroken if Pujara gets dropped. Yes, he didn’t score (too many) runs in the county circuit and also in the warm-up game, but he has been the batsman of pedigree in the last 4-5 years and he wasn’t that bad to be fair,” Chopra was quoted as saying by Sportstar.

Shikhar Dhawan, one of India’s top-order batter, hasn’t done well thus far in his English campaign. After a lacklustre T20I series, the left-hander had an indifferent ODI series as well. Moreover, he bagged a pair against Essex that has raised doubts over his credibility as a batsman under trying conditions.

KL Rahul, on the contrary, has been amongst the runs and hasn’t looked overawed by the conditions. Chopra also mentioned that Pujara’s place in the eleven shouldn’t be compromised in order to accommodate the likes of Rahul. Rather he called for Shikhar Dhawan’s exclusion.

“Everybody fails and Pujara did too, but he did spend a lot of time blunting the new ball and India can take a call later but not now. To accommodate Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan has to go, but not Pujara. I will be sad if Pujara gets dropped,” the former cricketer added.

For more news and developments, stay tuned on