Cheteshwar Pujara, a prominent Indian cricketer known for his solid batting technique and resilience, faced disappointment when he was dropped from the Indian Test team. This decision drew criticism from legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, who questioned why Pujara was made the scapegoat for the poor performance of the Indian batsmen in the World Test Championship final against Australia. Gavaskar emphasized the importance of consistent application of selection criteria for all players and expressed his belief that Pujara, a valuable player for Indian cricket, deserved better treatment.
Pujara’s Performance in the World Test Championship Final
In the highly anticipated World Test Championship final against Australia, the Indian batsmen, with the exception of Ajinkya Rahane, struggled to make an impact. Cheteshwar Pujara, known for his ability to anchor the innings and face prolonged spells from bowlers, contributed 14 runs in the first innings and 27 runs in the second innings. Although his performance fell short of expectations, it is important to acknowledge his significant contributions to Indian cricket over the years.
Pujara’s Valuable Contributions to Indian Cricket
Sunil Gavaskar, a cricketing legend himself, commended Cheteshwar Pujara’s contributions to Indian cricket. Pujara’s ability to absorb pressure, occupy the crease for long periods, and build partnerships has been crucial in several Indian victories. Gavaskar praised Pujara as an excellent player, highlighting his technique, patience, and dedication to the game. It is evident that Pujara’s presence in the team has often bolstered the batting lineup and provided stability during challenging situations.
Consistency in Selection Criteria
One of the key arguments put forth by Sunil Gavaskar was the need for consistency in the application of selection criteria. Gavaskar questioned why Pujara was singled out for being dropped while other players who also struggled in the World Test Championship final were retained. He emphasized the importance of fairness and equality in the selection process, stating that if there is a criterion for dropping players, it should be applied consistently to all individuals, not just Pujara.
The Value of Experience and Rest for Senior Players
Gavaskar further suggested that if the selectors wanted to provide opportunities to young players, they should have considered giving rest to experienced seniors like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Ravindra Jadeja. With the ICC ODI World Cup scheduled at the end of the year, it is crucial for these senior players to be in their best form. Gavaskar believed that by providing them with some rest, they would have a better chance of performing at their optimal level during the major tournament.
Pujara’s County Cricket Success
Before the World Test Championship final, Cheteshwar Pujara had a successful stint in county cricket. He scored a significant number of runs, showcasing his ability to adapt to different conditions and strengthen his skills. However, despite his impressive county cricket performance, he couldn’t replicate the same level of success in the crucial match against Australia. This highlights the challenges and pressure that players face when representing their country in high-stakes encounters.