Former India opener Wasim Jaffer said “it would have more sense” to make Cheteshwar Pujara the captain of India for the rescheduled fifth Test against England instead of Jasprit Bumrah. Less than 24 hours before the Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham, India named Bumrah as their captain after designated skipper Rohit Sharma was ruled out with another positive test on Thursday morning. Jaffer said Pujara’s experience as a cricketer and captain made him a much better option than someone like Bumrah who hasn’t led any side in any form of the game.
“I have seen Pujara lead in first-class cricket. He is a decent enough leader. He has played 90 (95) odd Tests, so I feel it would have made more sense to go with him,” Jaffer said on ESPNCricinfo.
The Edgbaston Test will be treated as the fifth Test match of last year’s series. The match, originally slated to take place in Manchester, was postponed due to Covid-19 cases in the Indian camp last year. Jaffer said considering the importance of the match – India lead 2-1 and a win or a draw would give them a Test series win in England after 15 years – it would have been “tempting” to opt for an experienced campaigner like Pujara as the captain.
“Bumrah was vice-captain previously so obvious for him to become captain but knowing the importance of the match, knowing that the series is on the line, I would have been tempted to look at Cheteshwar Pujara. Bumrah hasn’t captain at all. For him to lead in such a Test without experience ut you never know. Bumrah looks intelligent, and has got great game sense so he might surprise us as Hardik Pandya did,” Jaffer added.