Team India’s experienced batter Cheteshwar Pujara has been dropped out of the test squad for the West Indies tour after India’s batting failed in the WTC 2023 Final. Veteran batter Sunil Gavaskar has criticized Pujara’s exclusion from the squad as he stated that he has been made the scapegoat for our batting failures.
It has been speculated that young Mumbai batter Yashasvi Jaiswal could be taking up the number 3 spot in the absence of Cheteshwar Pujara. The Saurashtra batter hasn’t been at his prime in the past couple of years and couldn’t score big in the WTC 2023 final as well.
Pujara has been made the scapegoat for our batting failures: Sunil Gavaskar
“Why has he been made the scapegoat for our batting failures? He has been a loyal servant of Indian cricket, a quiet and able achiever. But because he doesn’t have millions of followers on whatever platforms who would make a noise in case he gets dropped, you drop him? That is something beyond understanding,” said Gavaskar on Sports Today.
“What is the criteria for dropping him and keeping the others who failed. I don’t know because nowadays there is no media interaction with the selection committee chairman or whoever where you could actually ask these questions,” the veteran batter further added.
“Yes he has been playing County cricket, he knows what the red ball is all about. Nowadays players can play till they are 39 or 40, there is nothing wrong with that. They are all very fit and as long as you are producing runs or taking wickets, I don’t think age should be a factor,” Gavaskar stated about the age factor.
Selectors need to explain Pujara’s exclusion: Sunil Gavaskar
“Clearly only one man has been singled out while the others also failed. To me, the batting failed. Apart from Ajinkya Rahane, there was nobody who got any runs. So why Pujara has been made the fall guy is something the selectors need to explain,” Sunil Gavaskar criticised Pujara’s exclusion from the test squad.
Team India lost to Australia by 209 runs in the WTC 2023 final after which question marks were raised on their batting lineup. Cheteshwar Pujara scored 14 runs in the first innings while he got out while trying an upper cut after scoring just 27 runs in the second innings.
Ajinkya Rahane was the only batter who could score enough runs against the Australian bowling lineup in the WTC final. However, apart from Pujara all other senior batters have retained their spot in the test squad for the West Indies tour.