Two of India’s most senior test match batsmen, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, have finally been dropped from India’s test match squad after their inconsistent performances in the last few seasons. It was on the cards for a few months now, but because of the weight of runs that these two players had behind them, the team management gave them a fair run.
However, now with India scheduled to play very few test matches in the next year and most of them being at home, the selectors have decided that it’s the right time to give Rahane and Pujara a bit of a break and bring two promising youngsters Hanuma Vihari and Shubman Gill into the playing XI for the upcoming test matches.
Gill, mostly, has opened the batting for India so far, but the team management sees him as a more potent option in the middle order, while Hanuma Vihari is the compact top-order batsman who has even opened the batting at times in first-class cricket. Two of them can be the ideal replacements for Ajinkya Rahane and Pujara at no. 5 and no. 3 respectively.
Door not closed on Ajinkya Rahane and Pujara yet: Chetan Sharma
Announcing India’s squad today for the test series against Sri Lanka, India’s chief selector Chetan Sharma made it clear that it was not the end of the road either for Ajinkya Rahane or Cheteshwar Pujara and if they score runs in domestic cricket, there is no reason why they can’t play for India again.
Apart from Rahane and Pujara, India’s selection committee has also dropped two other senior cricketers in Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma who have been with the test team for a long time. Saha and Ishant had spent the entire South Africa tour on the bench and hadn’t got the opportunity to play a single game there.
Here is how Twitter reacted after the senior players were dropped from India’s test team today –
Nobody can separate Rahane and Pujara. Not even BCCI. Not even Rohit. Not even Jay Shah. Not even batting form.
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) February 19, 2022Advertisement
India have officially entered transition phase. No Rahane, Pujara, Ishant and Saha in the Test squad. Time to back Vihari, Gill and Shreyas.Advertisement
— Venkata Krishna B (@venkatatweets) February 19, 2022
— Abhishek (@be_mewadi) February 19, 2022Advertisement
Pujara and Rahane finally dropped from Test Squad pic.twitter.com/EILpW950mnAdvertisement
— Sai (@akakrcb6) February 19, 2022
Pujara, Rahane, Saha, Ishant. A chapter of Indian test cricket is closing, it was on its last legs over the last year or so, the other bowlers will be gone very soon too. https://t.co/2C4frDTlQO
— Dweplea (@dweplea) February 19, 2022Advertisement
Big fan of Pujara here. Right decision to drop him but even till SA series was hoping that he will score big. Thanks for all the BGT epics. Thanks for all the tough runs.Advertisement
— Srinivas R (@srini_r_twit) February 19, 2022
Big relief no Rahane & Pujara in the Test squad.!No one gets as much backing as they've got.!With Gill & Vihari named in the squad they will make the new middle order.!
— Deep Point (@Cric_spidey) February 19, 2022Advertisement
Who thought Rohit would become a test captain in future and Rahane-Pujara would be dropped in, say, 2015!Advertisement
— Udit (@udit_buch) February 19, 2022
Good call by the selectors to drop Pujara and Rahane for the SL series. It’s the best time to try new faces and that too at home. They both need runs at Ranji level and I don’t mean one hundred. Go and make a real statement #INDvSL #IndvsWI
— Arup Ghose (@arup_ghose) February 19, 2022Advertisement
— Hemant Singh (@singhhemant0106) February 19, 2022