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Resting Cheteshwar Pujara would have opened up doors for more new batsmen, opines Sanjay Manjrekar

Pujara has been in constant action, of late.

Cheteshwar Pujara hundred
India batsman Cheteshwa Pujara celebrates his century. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The Indian team management has been trying a lot of permutations and combinations in a bid to assure the best XI, especially with the World Cup lined up for next year. Abiding by it, India’s U19 World Cup winning captain Prithvi Shaw and domestic run-machine Mayank Agarwal earned their Test call-ups against Windies. 

However, the inclusion of Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara has received a lot of flak, especially from the former India international Sanjay Manjrekar who voiced a different opinion. He believes Pujara could have been rested from the two-match Test series against Windies as he has been in constant action, of late.

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Echoing the same thoughts, Manjrekar wrote in his column for ESPN Cricinfo, “Indian cricket is now senior in age and in a very advantageous position with regards to its resources and the popularity of the sport. It’s almost incumbent on India to rule the cricketing world, which means that like West Indies and Australia did at their prime, India needs to beat teams like South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia in their backyards.”

He added, “I wish India had done more with the selection of the team for the West Indies series, specifically with regards to their batting. I would have liked to see another senior batsman, like Cheteshwar Pujara, rested to have a look at one more fresh option, along with Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal, to fill the batting holes that cost India the series in England.” 

Pujara finished as the third-highest run-scorer in Tests against England

Cheteshwar Pujara has been a proven contender in home conditions and looks promising of scoring a plethora of runs against Windies. But resting him would have opened up the doors for more new batsmen, increasing the chances of finding two new batting options with the potential to do well overseas.

The 30-year-old batting dynamo finished as the third-highest run-scorer in Tests against England this year where he scored 278 runs from four matches, including a ton and a half-century. After returning to India, Pujara has also played three Vijay Hazare Trophy matches for Saurashtra where he has scored 31, 56 and an unbeaten 36.

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