Aakash Chopra raised alarm for the future of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in Indian cricket, declaring their chapter closed after being omitted from the upcoming Test series against England.

Despite Cheteshwar Pujara’s recent remarkable double-century in the ongoing Ranji Trophy, the seasoned batter finds himself omitted from the upcoming five-match Test series against England. Similarly, Ajinkya Rahane, the vice-captain in the West Indies series, faces exclusion once again after being dropped in the South Africa series. Aakash Chopra, the former cricketer, opined that the duo’s prospects with the national team were bleak, asserting that the chapter is closed.

In praising Pujara, Chopra acknowledged his selfless approach, emphasizing Pujara’s joy-driven batting style, dubbing him the ‘saint of cricket.’ Despite acknowledging Pujara’s ability to consistently score runs, Chopra remained doubtful about his potential comeback. The cricketer-turned-commentator expressed on his YouTube channel that if not selected for South Africa, a return to the squad appears improbable.

“The squad is along the expected lines. We had expected Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara not to be there. I feel that chapter is closed. If you did not pick them in South Africa, that was the last opportunity to pick them. If you did not pick them there, you are not going back to them,” Chopra said.

“Pujara scored a double century last week. He is the saint of cricket. He will keep scoring because he does not score runs only for selection. Half the world scores runs for selection. He plays cricket just because he likes batting. He scores runs because he likes scoring runs. So Pujara will continue to score runs and break all records in first-class cricket. I think he has already scored 61 first-class centuries. He will make 100. He will not stop. He will not retire at all,” he added.

Shubman Gill, taking over from Pujara at number three, is still establishing himself, while Shreyas Iyer, Rahane’s successor at number five, grapples with consistency.

Last Updated on January 15, 2024

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