Sunil Gavaskar angry with Indian selectors over axing of Cheteshwar Pujara 

Cheteshwar Pujara has not been making enough runs in the last recent years to keep his position in the Indian squad for Test cricket

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has criticised Indian selectors family over the axing of Cheteshwar Pujara, as the batting star was dropped from the Indian cricket team for the upcoming tour of the West Indies were in they will play two test matches, starting on July 12 at Dominica.

The number three batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was the biggest casualty in the Indian squad which was selected for the two match test series that will also mark the start of India’s campaign in the next cycle of the ICC world test championship 2023-25. 

Cheteshwar Pujara has been struggling to make big runs for India as he has only one century to show in last three or four years and has been consistently failing both home and away with the bat.

The former Indian opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar told India Today,

“Why has he been dropped? Why has he been made the scapegoat for our batting failures? He has been a loyal servant of Indian cricket. But because he does not have millions of followers on platforms who will make a noise in case he gets dropped, so you drop him. That is something beyond my understanding. What is the criteria of dropping him and keeping the others who failed? I do not know because nowadays, there is no media interaction with the selection committee chairman, where you could ask these questions.”

Cheteshwar Pujara was being seen as India’s biggest hope in the final of the ICC world test championship 2023 against Australia as he had been playing county cricket for a long time and was in red-hot form with the bat for his county team Sussex. 

The middle order batsman could not make any mark and was instead bowled leaving the ball outside the off stump by Australia fast bowler Scott Boland, who persistently troubled the Indian batting star.

“He has been playing county cricket. So, he has played a lot of red-ball cricket, so he knows what it is about,”

said Sunil Gavsskar on the question whether Cheteshwar Pujara will be able to make a comeback to the Indian team. 

Sunil Gavaskar also backed Cheteshwar Pujara to make a strong comeback from this accent as he has a lot of cricket left in him, believes the former India captain.

“Today, people can play till they are 39-40. There’s nothing wrong, they’re all very fit; as long as you are producing runs and taking wickets, I do not think age should be a factor. Clearly only one man has been singled out, while the others who have failed…to me, the batting failed. Apart from (Ajinkya) Rahane, the batting completely failed. Why Pujara has been made the fall guy is something the selectors need to explain.”

The former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar also highlighted the fact that Indian selectors tend to depend more on Indian Premier League (IPL) and not in domestic cricket performances to select players for the Indian national cricket team.

The tour of West Indies will mark maiden call ups to the national side for young batsmen N Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad as well as fast bowler Mukesh Kumar, who all have been regular members of IPL teams and have done well in the previous season which was held a few months ago.

“You do well in the IPL and you get to be picked even in Test cricket. That seems to be the situation,” Gavaskar said. “Even if you look at the selection of the team, you have four opening batters for two Test matches. It’s not the old fast West Indies attack where you needed six opening batters.

Sunil Gavaskar also pointed out the example of Sarfaraz Khan, the Mumbai batsman who has scored plenty of runs in the domestic level but has not been able to catch the attention of the selectors, who believe that the right-handed batsman cannot play fast bowling well enough. 

“Sarfaraz Khan has been scoring at an average of 100 in all past three seasons. What does he have to do to be picked in the [Test] squad? He might not be in the XI, but you pick him in the team. Tell him that his performances are being recognised. Otherwise, stop playing Ranji Trophy. Say, it’s of no use, you just play IPL and think you are good enough for the red-ball game as well.”