Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has stated that he definitely sees Cheteshwar Pujara playing the first Test match against England. There have been question marks raised on Pujara’s place as he hasn’t been at his best. The right-hander has been averaging below 30 in the last two years and could not deliver the goods during the World Test Championship.
Furthermore, a lot of cricket pundits have raised doubts on Pujara’s strike rate. Pujara is known to take his time in the middle and score runs at his own pace. The right-hander gets bogged down a little at one end and also fails to rotate the strike. However, it has been Pujara’s method, which has helped him savour success at the top level.
Pujara’s strength is to tire down the opposition bowlers and take the shine off the ball. The other batsman can bat around Pujara and also score their runs as India’s number three can hold one end up.
However, after scoring 521 runs in four Test matches against Australia in the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar trophy, Pujara hasn’t been able to score big runs. Pujara has played 18 Test matches after that series and he has scored 841 runs at an average of 28.03.
Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube Channel, “Reports come but I am not believing that news because the last time India had toured England, Cheteshwar had scored a century. Yes, I know what you are thinking. his average is less than 30 in England and he has toured there two or three times.”
“But I definitely see Cheteshwar Pujara playing in the first Test match. In my opinion, at this point in time, I will not touch him. I will continue with Cheteshwar Pujara.”
“I will also expect from Pujara, his average of 29 in England and the same average in the two-year WTC cycle, that’s not what Pujara is made of. He played all the matches, there were some important knocks, but the big runs have not come.”
Pujara’s average is around 30 in English conditions and he will look to be at his best in the upcoming series against England. There is no doubt that Pujara is going to hold the key for the Indian team. The first Test match will take place at Trent Bridge, Nottingham from August 4.