Cheteshwar Pujara is a legitimate option to replace Virat Kohli for England tests , says Aakash Chopra

Written by Mohan Sharma

Former India batter Aakash Chopra has said that Cheteshwar Pujara is a legitimate replacement for Virat Kohli, who has opted out of the first two Tests against India.

India is set to face England in a five-match Test series at home. The first match of the series will be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on January 25.

In a big development, India superstar batter Virat Kohli pulled out of the first two matches of the series, citing personal reasons. Kohli scored 172 runs in two matches against South Africa as India held the Proteas to a 1-1 draw in the recently-concluded two-match Test series. BCCI has said that they will announce his replacement soon.

Speaking on his Youtube channel, Chopra said Pujara is in good form and has a proven track record in Test cricket. Pujara recently became just the fourth Indian batter after Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sunil Gavaskar to score over 20,000 runs in first-class cricket.

“Cheteshwar Pujara – only four Indians have scored more than 20000 first-class runs. He scored a double century recently. Form is with him and he has a proven Test record. He works hard by playing county cricket as well. He is your sincere cricketer. In fact, I say he is Indian cricket’s monk,” said Chopra.

He went on to say that Pujara is a legitimate option to replace Kohli in the first two Tests against England. Pujara has 7195 runs in 103 Test matches for India at an average of 44.36, while hitting 35 fifties and 19 hundreds.

“So you can pick him. However, I feel India are not looking in that direction. They have already started looking in a different direction. Cheteshwar Pujara is a legit option but are the Indian selectors looking at him as an option at all? That’s the question we need to ask and wonder,” Chopra added.

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Mohan Sharma