Discarded Cheteshwar Pujara Trains at Rajkot Nets as India Fret Over New No.3 Shubman Gill’s Form


Cheteshwar Pujara in training (Credit: X)

Cheteshwar Pujara in training (Credit: X)

Pujara was seen training in the nets for his Ranji side as his fellow Indian compatriots took to the crease at the newly-announced Niranjan Shah Stadium, merely minutes away from the training ground.

The chips may be down, but the spirits need to stay up. In an age of ‘Bazball’, Cheteshwar Pujara continues to stand out and stick to his roots, on and off the field, playing and training with patience, awaiting his shot at international cricket yet again.

On the first day of India’s 3rd Test against England, taking place in Rajkot, the Saurashtra batter was seen training in the nets for his Ranji side as his fellow Indian compatriots took to the crease at the newly-announced Niranjan Shah Stadium, merely minutes away from the training ground.

A debate has been raging over Pujara’s exclusion from the Test side. It was in June last year that Pujara last turned out in India whites as the team lost to Australia in the ICC World Test Championship final. Pujara was dropped after the contest as India shifted focus on younger, upcoming stars with an eye on the future.

The call for Pujara’s inclusion once again has began to resonate louder among fans and critics alike, especially with the absence of talisman batter Virat Kohli and the mediocre outings put up by the Indian middle-order against England in their Test series so far.

Far too often so far, the onus has been placed on the likes of young batters such as Yashasvi Jaiswal to not merely anchor the Indian innings, but to save it. And with Kohli ruled out for the series entirely , many continue to look up to someone with the calibre and experience that someone like Pujara holds to help bolster the batting order.

Who may he repalce you ask? Well, it seems that given Pujara plays at No.3, it would have to be Shubman Gill.

Despite his sensational year in white-ball cricket for India in 2023, Gill had been struggling to find the same form in Test cricket. Prior to his century in the last Test, Gill had gone over 10 innings without registering a single score of more than 50. And with his dismissal for a duck yet again today in the third Test, questions will arise yet again.

But, so far, the Saurashtra man has had no luck as India continue to bank on the new crop of players emerging, with the likes of Sarfaraz Khan, Rajat Patidar and Dhruv Jurel all being called up to the senior side so far.

Despite it all, the veteran hasn’t lost hope with his passion for the game and for representing the country burning bright as ever.

“My proudest moment was to represent the Indian team. There is a pride when I walk out to bat for India, there is nothing bigger than that. That feeling that you can win games for your country, that you can make the difference – call it X-factor or a player who will fight for the country to win a game, there is no greater feeling than that on earth,” stated Pujara in a recent interview with The Indian Express.

“Whenever the opportunity to play for India comes, I will be ready to play with that passion and pride that’s needed and with which I have always played. That will never change,” he said.





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