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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

India vs England: Not part of the playing XI, here’s how Cheteshwar Pujara is helping the cause

Even when sitting out of the playing XI, Cheteshwar Pujara came out on Day 2 of the first Test against England to give throw downs to Murali Vijay.

cricket Updated: Aug 02, 2018 23:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Cheteshwar Pujara was unexpectedly left out of the playing XI in the first Test against England.
Cheteshwar Pujara was unexpectedly left out of the playing XI in the first Test against England. (AP)

When Virat Kohli announced his team at the toss of the first Test against England, a collective sigh rang through cricketing parleys. (IND v ENG 1st Test live updates)

Cheteshwar Pujara was axed, KL Rahul was included and the debates and deliberations went through the roof. Perhaps the decision was well-thought out, Pujara had struggled to get going in his county stint for Yorkshire and he never looked confident against Afghanistan as well as against Essex in the only warm-up game.

On the other hand, KL Rahul was rampant in the IPL, slammed a century in the first T20I in Manchester, looked smooth against Essex and it became almost impossible to keep him out.

But then this is a team sport and even when sitting out, the Saurashtra man came out on Day 2, there was Murali Vijay taking guard and he received throw downs from Pujara.


A selfless act, just what one could expect from the defiant right-hander. He kept bowling full to Vijay, preparing him for the full lengths which James Anderson and Stuart Broad would bowl at him.

Yes, there was bound to be disappointment, but then in a team game, personal ambitions take a second spot and team requirements came creeping up.

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England were dismissed for 287 when Mohammed Shami got rid of Sam Curran in the second over of the day. Vijay and Dhawan strode out to bat and as expected the lengths were pitched up enticing the drive.

There were strokes played, few iffy strokes too made an appearance, but on a pitch which seems to have dried out, this could well be India’s best chance to put up a massive first innings total.

First Published: Aug 02, 2018 16:59 IST

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