As the conundrum for India’s number four slot in the batting order continues, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has a unique suggestion for the same- Cheteshwar Pujara. India have tried several batsmen at the same position but are yet to finalise on one name. But according to Ganguly, Pujara could be the answer to the puzzle.
“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,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by India TV.
However, Ganguly did admit that Pujara’s fielding could be a cause for concern but his prowess with the bat could help India.
“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,” he explained.
“I believe Pujara has the capability to perform the role that Rahul Dravid used to for India in ODIs earlier,” he said.
“But this would have been my decision and I know a lot of people won’t agree with me on this. 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,” he further said.
Another area which is still up for grabs is the second choice wicket-keeper. In that position, Ganguly backed Rishabh Pant over Dinesh Karthik despite the southpaw’s indifferent series against Australia.
Explaining the reason behind his choice, the 44-year-old said, “I would back Rishabh Pant over Dinesh Karthik,” he added. “The latter has played a lot of cameos but we haven’t seen him play a big innings while pulling the team out of trouble like Kedar Jadhav does for India. So, if I have to choose one amongst the two, I would go for Pant as he is a player of the future.”
“But it is quite possible that none of either Pant or Karthik are selected for the World Cup. The way they have backed Vijay Shankar recently, it is possible that none of the two frontline backup wicket-keepers will make it to England. So in the event that Shankar is chosen, only one amongst KL Rahul, Pant and Karthik will be selected,” Ganguly concluded.