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Sourav Ganguly backs Cheteshwar Pujara to bat at No. 4 for India in ODIs

Sourav Ganguly backs Cheteshwar Pujara to bat at No. 4 for India in ODIs

New Delhi, March 15: As Indian Cricket Team's quest to find a permanent solution to the No. 4 spot didn't really bear fruit during the ODI series against Australia, former India captain Sourav Ganguly has suggested Cheteshwar Pujara could perform that duty.

Pujara has been given the tag of being a Test specialist but according to Ganguly, the Rajkot batsman could do for Team India what Rahul Dravid back in his days.

"For me, Cheteshwar Pujara should be India's No.4 in ODIs. His fielding might be a bit weak but he is a very good batsman. I know people will be shocked by my claim but if you want a quality batsman who is better than the options India has tried off late, I think Pujara is the best choice," Ganguly was quoted by India TV as saying.

"I believe Pujara has the capability to perform the role that Rahul Dravid used to for India in ODIs earlier," the left-handed top-order batsman said.

"But this would have been my decision and I know a lot of people won't agree with me on this. Sometimes, you need solidity in one-day cricket and Pujara provides you with that in ample measure. Especially, when your top 3 batsmen are so capable and are scoring a mountain of runs," he further added.

During the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, 31-year-old cricketer became the first player from Saurashtra to slam a T20 ton.

The right-handed batsman slammed 61-ball 100 and followed it up with a couple of more knocks. Pujara, who opened the innings in that game, notched up his maiden century off just 61 balls, a knock studded with 16 boundaries and a six. The right-handed batsman scored first 50 off 29 deliveries and took 32 balls to get to next fifty runs.

At the end of the Australia series, that Team India lost 3-2, captain Virat Kohli pointed out that only one spot (No. 4) was up for grabs and Ganguly has thrown Pujara's name on the table.

Senior pros Ajinkya Rahane and Dinesh Karthik already look the contenders for that spot after Ambati Rayudu failed to grab the opportunity in the first three ODIs against Australia. Vijay Shankar - who was the only positive for India from Australia series - has also presented his case brilliantly with the bat.

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Story first published: Friday, March 15, 2019, 22:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 15, 2019
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