Clamour Grows For Pujara’s Inclusion In Lord’s Test

India's Cheteshwar Pujara, left and head coach Ravi Shastri talk during a nets session at Edgbaston a day ahead of the 1st test cricket match between England and India, at Edgbaston, in Birmingham, England, Tuesday July 31, 2018. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)

Vastavam web: Cheteshwar Pujara’s ability to wear down bowlers with his obdurate defence should earn him a place in India’s playing XI for the second test against England, according to several former players.Skipper Virat Kohli’s sublime display in the series opener failed to gloss over India’s top order frailties with the trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul making a combined 82 in their 31-run loss in the Edgbaston test.

“When batsmen are struggling with the moving ball, it might be a good idea to induct Cheteshwar Pujara into the side,” former test player Mohinder Amarnath wrote in a column that appeared in Wednesday’s Times of India newspaper.“I know he is not in great form but he has the ability to occupy the crease and just needs time in the middle to rediscover his touch,” added the 69-test veteran whose own gutsy batting remains an inspiration for the likes of Pujara.

“I will play one more batsman at Lord’s in the form of Pujara,” Gavaskar told India Today television channel.“He has the technique and patience required for a test match. Whose place he’ll take will depend on the pitch. If the wicket isn’t that green then I will play him in place of (pacer) Umesh Yadav and stay with (all-rounder) Hardik Pandya.”

“Playing an extra batsman here, I would consider that as a very conservative move,” Arun told reporters at Lord’s.“Everything depends on the conditions. And if the conditions are not as friendly as it was during the first test it would make more sense to play five bowlers.”