Ignoring Cheteshwar Pujara for the first test match frowned many experts due to the poor form of Shikhar Dhawan. Pujara is the specialist batsman for no.3 position in the test format. On the other hand, selecting KL Rahul who made a few knocks in the limited overs series did not have sufficient experience at England but he is popular as the Test specialist. But the former Indian Captain Mohammed Azharuddin backed the decision of selecting Rahul over Pujara. Here is why
Pujara has a poor form and slammed only 1 and 23 from the warm-up match against Essex. In addition, he played for Yorkshire in six games and made only 172 runs at an average of 14.33, which is very lesser when compared to his average of 65 in the subcontinent. His average was 3,575 runs in the sub-continental venues.
Azhar attended an event in Karnataka Premier League. Speaking to the press, he said “I think the team went by current form. Pujara went early to England and has not been among the runs. That can happen. Pujara has struggled to play abroad and Rahul has done very well in patches. Once Rahul shows that consistency, he will play for a long time. He has a golden opportunity to cement his spot in the team.”
Speaking about the performance of Kohli on the second day of the test match and his failure to get control over the first innings on the first day, he said “Most of the teams these days struggle when the ball is moving because we’re used to playing in good batting wickets in the shorter formats. England also struggled on Wednesday. When the ball moves, we struggle because we don’t play on those wickets consistently. We need to play there and only then will improve. When you play at a professional level, you have to adapt. You are expected to do that.” He concluded.