Cheteshwar Pujara To Be Sacked From Indian Team? Samson Set To Make Comeback Against West Indies Series

The upcoming two-Test series between India and West Indies has generated considerable buzz and anticipation among cricket fans. However, a recent report by Cricbuzz has sparked debate over the inclusion of Cheteshwar Pujara in the Indian team due to his below-par performances in recent times. Pujara’s struggles with the bat and his lack of centuries have brought his place in the squad under scrutiny. This article delves into Pujara’s recent form, the potential impact on team selection, and other notable players in contention for the series.

Cheteshwar Pujara, a stalwart of Indian cricket, has had a challenging run with the bat in recent years. The 35-year-old has failed to register a century in his last 28 Test matches, spanning 52 innings. Since 2020, Pujara has averaged 29.69, below his usual standards. Even though he made a strong comeback after being dropped in 2022, scoring 90 and an unbeaten 102 against Bangladesh in the Chittagong Test, his overall average drops to 26.31 once these scores are excluded.

Pujara’s shot selection has also been a cause for concern. During the World Test Championship (WTC) final, he managed scores of only 14 and 27 across two innings, raising further questions about his ability to adapt and make significant contributions in crucial matches. This has led to discussions regarding whether Pujara’s position in the playing XI should be reevaluated.

If Pujara is dropped from the team, Mumbai batter Yashasvi Jaiswal is expected to step in at the crucial number three position. The top five batters – Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane will likely retain their spots, with Rohit continuing as the Test captain. The team management understands the importance of every Test match, especially considering the impact on the World Test Championship (WTC) points table and is cautious about experimenting during such critical encounters.

While Pujara’s position remains uncertain, other players face their evaluations. KS Bharat is expected to retain his spot despite a lackluster performance in the WTC Final. Additionally, the selectors may consider the return of Sanju Samson to the ODI and T20I squads alongside Ishan Kishan. Mohammed Shami, who has had a strenuous workload recently, might be rested for the two Tests but could be included in the ODI squad in preparation for the upcoming World Cup 2023.

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The workload management of fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj is a crucial aspect to consider. While Siraj might travel with the squad, he could be used sparingly to ensure he remains in optimal condition for upcoming tournaments like the Asia Cup and World Cup. Furthermore, the potential inclusion of players like Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik adds further intrigue to the squad selection. Umran’s limited participation in the IPL raises questions about his inclusion in Tests, ODIs, or T20Is.

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