India’s middle-order was once its biggest strength. Right until India’s maiden Test series win in Australia in 2018-19, it was considered to be the world’s best. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Cheteshwar Pujara were the rocks of the team. Their contribution to the team’s success was immense. In the absence of openers who could score consistent runs, it was down to these 3 to do the heavy lifting. Here are 5 Players Who Can Replace Cheteshwar Pujara.
But since 2020, India’s big-3 have flattered to deceive. They have just 1 century among them in close to 2 years. Their chinks have been exposed. Rahane being the vice-captain may just be saved the axe but Cheteshwar Pujara is almost on the brink of exit. He is finding it really hard to score runs.
Pujara has struggled at both home and away. His run in whites is looking at an uncertain future. The fact that there are plenty of options available for India makes his task doubly difficult.
We look at 3 Players Who Can Replace Cheteshwar Pujara
#3 Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad has had a dream run in the last couple of years. He emerged as the leading run-getter in IPL 2021. Gaikwad has been a domestic workhorse. He has great numbers playing list-A cricket. He averages nearly 48 in 59 games. Gaikwad has a solid defence and good awareness about where his off-stump is. He is good against both pace and spin. Gaikwad can be a really good prospect at number 3.
#2 Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill is another player who looks ripe for Test cricket. He created a huge buzz even before his Test debut. Gill had a sensational debut series in Australia. He played a stellar role in India’s historic series win. Gill looked at ease smashing arguably the best Test attack of current times. He showcased a lot of promise. Gill is someone who can be groomed as a future number 3 who could combine both attack and defence in equal measure.
#1 Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav is a proven performer in the domestic circuit. He is one of those rare batsmen who never curbed his natural style for consistency. Yadav for years struggled to make the shift to the next level.
He finally made his India debut last year across both the limited-overs formats. Yadav has been added to India’s Test squad too. His ability to play spin and pace with ease makes him one of the prime candidates to replace Pujara at number 3.