ICC World Cup 2019: Sourav Ganguly picks Cheteshwar Pujara for No. 4 slot
Ganguly suggested India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara for the no.4 spot in the Indian team.
Published - Mar 15, 2019 2:49 pm
Updated - Mar 15, 2019 5:53 pm
Team India faced defeat in the much keenly contested five-match ODI series 2-3 against Australia, which was their first after losing to South Africa in 2015. This was India’s last international assignment before the World Cup 2019 and the Indian team management decided to tinker with their playing combination to come up with the best possible XI.
Instead of coming up with answers, the Indian team is stuck with even more questions than they had before the start of the series. The Indian team had a handy lead of 2-0 with three matches to go and in an effort to play with the team combination, they lost the last three ODIs to Australia, with a humiliating loss in Mohali.
The no.4 spot still wide open after Rayudu failure
The biggest problem of the Indian team, the no.4 spot seemed to have been filled with Ambati Rayudu performing admirably at the spot ever since making a comeback into the ODI team on the back of a tremendous IPL 2018. He played wonderful knocks in Asia Cup 2018, scored a century against West Indies and played an epic inning in New Zealand to save India some serious blushes.
However, the form he had gone away in a flash against Australia, as he managed to fluff every chance he got in the series and was dropped from the Indian team for the last two ODIs and India tried Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant at the spots, to no positive result.
Ganguly suggested a surprise alternative at no.4
Ganguly suggested India’s Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara for the no.4 spot in the Indian team in the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales. Appearing on the India TV’s show ‘Cricket Ki Baat’, Ganguly put forth this radical idea of using Pujara, who has only played a handful of ODIs for India and is nowhere in BCCI’s plans for limited overs cricket, as the new no.4 for the Indian team.
“See, I am going to say something that might not sound believable to many viewers and a lot of people might laugh at my suggestion. But for me, Cheteshwar Pujara should be India’s No.4 in ODIs. His fielding might be a bit weak but he is a very good batsman. I know people will be shocked by my claim but if you want a quality batsman who is better than the options India has tried off late, I think Pujara is the best choice,” Ganguly was quoted as saying on the show.
He compared Pujara to Dravid and said that he has the capability to do the same job that Dravid did in ODIs for India. “Sometimes, you need solidity in one-day cricket and Pujara provides you with that in ample measure. Especially, when your top 3 batsmen are so capable and are scoring a mountain of runs,” added Ganguly, who led India to the finals of the World Cup 2003 in South Africa.