Reports: Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane unlikely to retain Grade A contracts

The duo have been short of runs lately.

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Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

As per the latest developements, Team India Test specialists Ajinkya Rahane, and, Cheteshwar Pujara might not be placed in Group A of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) central contracts owing to their underwhelming performances in the year gone by. Talking about their recent performances, barring a half-century each in the South Africa Test series, the duo has not done anything exceptional.

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Meanwhile, a BCCI source has said that if the national cricket board and head coach Rahul Dravid decide to honor the two batters and keep them there only then Rahane and Pujara will be placed in Group A.

‘They ideally won’t feature in group A’: BCCI source

“The central contract is a performance indicator of where you stand as per your performance during the last season. If the BCCI and head coach (Rahul) Dravid decide to honor the duo and keep them in group A, then it’s a different issue but under normal circumstances, they ideally won’t feature in group A,” the source said as quoted by the Print.

The BCCI has four categories — A+, A, B, and C — which carry annual retainership of INR 7 crore, INR 5 crore, INR 3 crore, and INR 1 crore respectively.

Courtesy of a half-century each, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara managed to score 136 and 124 runs in the recently-concluded three-match Test series against the Proteas side.

After India’s series defeat, Virat Kohli relinquished Test captaincy, and while limited-overs skipper Rohit Sharma is expected to be appointed as his successor, it has been reported that Pujara, and, Rahane could be dropped from the two-match home Test series against Sri Lanka next month. Now, it remains to be seen whether the team management will show faith in Hanuma Vihari or rope in Shreyas Iyer to take care of the Indian team’s responsibilities.

Rohit Sharma is expected to open the innings with KL Rahul while Mayank Agarwal or Shubman Gill could bat at number three. The first Test will be played at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on February 25 while the final game will be contested at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on March 5.

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