Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane’s chapters in Test side have been closed, says Aakash Chopra

Written by Vipin Darwade

Former India batter Aakash Chopra has said that Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara’s chapters in India’s Test setup have been closed. India is set to take on England in a five-match Test series at home.

India announced their squad for the first two Tests of their five-match home series against England. Neither Pujara nor Rahane were named in the 16-member squad.

Rahane last played for India against the West Indies while Pujara has not put on an Indian jersey since their loss in the final of the 2023 World Test Championship in London.

“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,” said Chopra.

He went on to say that Pujara will continue scoring runs in first-class cricket, while backing him to register 100 first-class centuries. Pujara has scored 19,812 runs in 258 first-class matches at an average of 52, including 62 centuries and 77 fifties, with a top-score of 352.

“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,” concluded Chopra.

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Vipin Darwade