India Tour of England – Prithvi Shaw for Cheteshwar Pujara? Not that the Indian team management is thinking of taking this step but the former Australia spinner Brad Hogg has suggested that India should send in SOS to Prithvi Shaw very soon. According to Hogg, Prithvi Shaw is right choice to replace veteran Test player Cheteshwar Pujara in the Indian playing XI. He said giving Pujara’s position to KL Rahul will be not correct and Shaw is the answer for India’s next no. 3 batsman.
Hogg was answering to a fan question in which he was asked whether KL Rahul should replace Pujara in the 5-Test series versus England starting August 4 in Nottingham. The 50-year-old said that young Shaw should be India’s choice as No. 3 batsman in England.
“If anyone was going to replace Pujara it would be Prithvi Shaw. Feel he is more suited there than opening. Has a lot of talent and long future. He is not in the tour group but a wild card choice,” Hogg replied to the fan.
India Tour of England: Why Cheteshwar Pujara can be replaced from the Indian Playing XI?
India Tour of England – Cheteshwar Pujara: Pujara has been an important cog in Team India’s Test success. But following a dismal run of late including the WTC Final, the team management is considering booting out Pujara.
Prior to January 2020, Pujara was as important as Virat Kohli in the Indian Test’s playing XI. But the cracks have begun to appear since then. His dismal run has failed to provide India with solidity in the top-order. It has put extra pressure on Virat Kohli at No 4 and Ajinkya Rahane at No 5 to play well.
A look at his recent stats will be enough to prove that Pujara is well past his prime. In the last three series (since 2020), he has averaged 26.35 compared to 49.48 before that without scoring any centuries. Furthermore, his ultra-defensive approach has also become more evident during this time. Until 2019, Pujara’s strike rate was 46.69.
But since January 2020, his scoring rate has gone down to 30.20. The only meaningful innings during this period came against Australia in Sydney when he scored 77. These dismal stats are forcing skipper Virat Kohli & Ravi Shastri to have a rethink on Pujara’s utility in the Indian XI.
Cheteshwar Pujara’s dwindling batting records
- No century in last 30 innings (Australia series in 2019)
- Pujara is averaging 26.35 since January 2020
- His ultra-defensive approach with a strike rate of 30.20 is giving oppositions more time to bounce back
- 9 single-digit scores since last century
India Tour of England – Shubman Gill Injured: Pujara’s form is not only the concern India has at this moment. In what comes as a big blow for Virat Kohli’s Team India, opener Shubman Gill has suffered an internal leg injury and is doubtful for the entire 5 match test series starting from August 4. Abhimanyu Easwaran who is currently with the squad as a back-up opener is all set to be included in the main squad. BCCI will soon be making official announcement in this regard.
“Shubman has sustained a shin stress fracture, which will keep him out of action for minimum two months, which effectively rules him out of the first three Tests against England in August,” the source said on conditions of anonymity.
“It will be a race against time to get him fit for the final two Test matches in September after completing rehabilitation,” he added.
England vs India Series Full Schedule:
4-8 August, 1st Test Match, Trent Bridge
12-16 August, 2nd Test Match, Lord’s
25-29 August, 3rd Test Match, Emerald Headingley
2-6 Sept, 4th Test Match, Kia Oval
10-14 Sept, 5th Test Match, Emirates Old Trafford