Despite drawing criticism for his slow strike rates, Cheteshwar Pujara continues to be one of the mainstays of this Indian setup. Pujara brings a lot of stability to a team that is laced with plenty of stroke makers. But how long one can sustain his place in the team without scoring runs? Just consuming a lot of deliveries isn’t enough. Pujara’s place came under the scanner after his mediocre performance in the World Test Championship final.
But No 3 is the most important position and you need someone stable with solid technique there. So what could be the possible options? Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg has an answer for the same. While answering a fan query on Twitter, Hogg said Prithvi Shaw can be an ideal replacement for Pujara.
“If anyone was going to replace Pujara it would be Prithvi Shaw. Feel he is more suited there than opening. Has a lot of talent and a long future. He is not in the tour group but a wild card choice,” Hogg tweeted.
Pujara has not been his own in the last few months and it’s evident from the fact that he has scored just 156 runs in the last 5 Tests. India is already under a lot of pressure. They do not have a great record in England and the WTC final has left the fans fuming. They desperately need results going their way in the England series.
Not only Pujara, but the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and even Virat Kohli are also struggling for runs. Also, the injury to Shubman Gill is another concern. India are mulling an option of opening with Mayank Agarwal and play Hanuma Vihari in the middle-order.
Talking about Prithvi Shaw, the young Indian opener is deemed as one of the most talented cricketers in the country. He started his international career with a bang but lost his place in the side after his shortcomings were exposed on the Australia tour. But since then, the right-hander has scored tons of runs in domestic cricket. Shaw is currently with the Indian team that’s going to play limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. It will be interesting to see if Shaw gets a call from the board for England series. However, the chances are grim given that his style of play is not suited to No 3, which requires solid technique and immense patience.