‘Time to drop him’ – Twitter wants KL Rahul to replace Cheteshwar Pujara in England Tests
India’s five-Test series against England gets underway from August 4.
Updated - Jul 20, 2021 9:17 pm
Cheteshwar Pujara’s underwhelming run in Test cricket continued during India’s warm-up fixture against County XI in Chester-le-Street, as he could merely manage 21 runs before he was stumped off Jack Carson. While otherwise known for his knack of occupying the crease, Pujara could not do that either on Tuesday, getting dismissed on the 47th delivery he faced.
Even as the entire Indian top-order faltered in the fixture, Pujara bore the brunt of Twitter after failing to convert another one of his starts to an innings of note. The 33-year-old batter is undoubtedly a vital cog in India’s set-up and has stood tall for the team on instances beyond count.
However, contrary to that reputation, his form of late has taken a downward route, with his last triple-figure knock dating back to India’s Australia tour of 2018-19. Ever so crucial on the historic tour, Pujara notched up 521 runs at a staggering average of 74.43, including three centuries. Ever since then, however, 36.25 is the highest he has averaged in a series of a minimum of three Tests.
The right-hander was unable to match his standards against New Zealand recently during the World Test Championship final as well, where he managed scores of 8 and 15 in the two innings respectively and attracted some attention once again towards his conservative approach and strike rate.
KL Rahul seizes the opportunity
Meanwhile, KL Rahul, who last played a Test back in August 2019 against West Indies, shone brightly in Durham during the practice game, as he strung crucial partnerships and notched up a gritty half-century, making the case for his comeback stronger.
While even imagining India dropping Pujara from the team seems impossible, his diminishing returns coincided with Rahul’s recent form was enough for few on Twitter to suggest the extreme of swapping him with the latter.
“Unpopular opinion: It’s time to move on from Pujara in Test cricket. Time to give opportunities to Vihari or KL Rahul,” a user stated. “It’s time to drop pujara from playing x1 and bring back Rahul in middle order Rahane to bat at 3,” reckoned another.
India’s five-Test series against England gets underway from August 4, and even though India might not drop arguably one of their most reliable batters from the team just yet, Rahul certainly has established himself in the list of sure starters with his recent knock.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Rahul in Pujara out? Not a bad idea.
— Kishore (@Kishore__Rajput) July 20, 2021
KL Rahul replaces Pujara at No.3.
Make it happen please @BCCI 🤞
— #18 (Inactive) (@King_KohIi18) July 20, 2021
Kl rahul in place of Pujara/Rahane?
— Levi (@Captain_L_e_v_i) July 20, 2021
KL Rahul 72* in County Xl vs India Match❤️🔥
— Ajithian Moses (@AjithianMoses) July 20, 2021
Rahul inn for pujara in England. #INDvENG
— Lakshya Agarwal (@l_a_k_s_h_y_a_) July 20, 2021
Its time to drop pujara from playing x1 and bring back Rahul In middle order Rahane to bat at 3
— Aqeel Mughal (@aqeelkhan50000) July 20, 2021
KL Rahul to replace Pujara at 3 for the First Test if he gets a huge one here? #CountyXIvIndia
— Naman Agarwal (@CoverDrivenFor4) July 20, 2021
Rahul happily statpadding runs against those kids and he might well play ahead of Pujara in first test and rightly so
— Mohit Katta (@MohitKattaC1733) July 20, 2021
KL Rahul 👌👌
Should play in place of Pujara
— बाबा (@iBeing_Gaurav) July 20, 2021
Unpopular opinion : It's time to move on from Pujara in Test cricket. Time to give opportunities to Vihari or KL Rahul.
— Jay. (@peak_Ability18) July 20, 2021