In the world of cricket, every team has its stalwarts, players who consistently contribute to the team's success and become the backbone of the side. Cheteshwar Pujara is one such player for the Indian Test team. Recently, there has been speculation about Pujara's absence from the upcoming two-match Test series in the West Indies. Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has expressed his hope that Pujara has been rested rather than dropped from the team. In this blog, we will delve into the significance of Cheteshwar Pujara, analyze his recent performances, and discuss the importance of treating players equally in tough selection decisions.
Cheteshwar Pujara has emerged as the backbone of the Indian Test team over the years. His solid technique, immense patience, and ability to occupy the crease for long periods make him a vital cog in the Indian batting line-up. Pujara's batting style is reminiscent of the traditional Test match batsmen who value their wicket and build innings brick by brick.
In the World Test Championship final against Australia, Pujara scored only 14 and 27 runs, which contributed to India's loss. However, it is important to consider the context in which these runs were scored. The match took place in challenging English conditions, and Pujara's experience playing in the county circuit with Sussex should have been an advantage. Nevertheless, his lack of substantial runs might have influenced the selectors' decision to exclude him from the squad for the West Indies series.
Harbhajan Singh, a former Indian spinner, expressed his hope that Pujara has been rested and not dropped from the team. Harbhajan emphasized that a player who has played 100 Test matches deserves respect and should be given the benefit of the doubt. Resting Pujara would allow him to rejuvenate and come back stronger for future assignments. Harbhajan also stressed the need for consistency in the selectors' decision-making process and urged them to treat all players equally, considering their performances over the past two years.
Harbhajan Singh rightly pointed out that other senior Indian batsmen have not displayed significantly better performances than Pujara in the last two years. If the selectors decide to drop Pujara, it raises questions about the criteria used to assess the players' worth. The tough calls made by the selectors should be uniform for all players, regardless of their stature. Harbhajan argued that if Pujara is not considered a big player, then the performances of other players are also not extraordinary.
Following his omission from the Indian Test squad, Pujara has returned to the domestic circuit. He has been selected to play for the West Zone side in the upcoming Duleep Trophy. This opportunity allows Pujara to showcase his skills, regain form, and stake his claim for a return to the national team.
Cheteshwar Pujara's absence from the Indian Test team for the West Indies series has sparked discussions and speculations. While it remains uncertain whether Pujara has been rested or dropped, it is crucial to recognize his immense contribution to the team's success as the backbone of the batting line-up. Pujara's solid technique, patience, and ability to absorb pressure have played a significant role in India's Test victories. The selectors should consider the performances of all players equally when making tough decisions, ensuring transparency and fairness in the selection process. As fans, we can hope to see Pujara back in action, continuing to strengthen the Indian Test team in the future.