Will Cheteshwar Pujara replace Shubman Gill in the third Test against England? Ravi Shastri delivers surprising verdict

Shubman Gill

Former Indian coach Ravi Shastri advised young batsman Shubman Gill to improve his performance to secure his place in the national team. Ravi Shastri stated that Cheteshwar Pujara could replace him in the team, given his consistent performances in domestic cricket.

Shubman Gill retained his place in the playing XI for the second Test, despite recent struggles in red-ball cricket. The right-handed batsman got off to a promising start in India’s first innings, scoring 34 runs. However, Gill could not convert his strike into a big goal.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Gill added a 49-run partnership for the second wicket on the opening day of the second match. James Anderson consistently bowled outside the line of stump, leading to Gill’s outside edge, and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes completed the catch with a dive.

Shubman Gill has to prove himself – Ravi Shastri

While commentating on the match, Ravi Shastri emphasized the need for young players like Shubman Gill to take advantage of their opportunities. Shastri highlighted that Cheteshwar Pujara is on the radar and highlighted his consistent efforts in domestic cricket.

“It is a fresh team, a young team. These young people have to prove their worth. Don’t forget, Pujara is waiting. He is fighting in the Ranji Trophy and is always on the radar.” Shastri said while commenting on the second test.

Shubman Gill managed just 23 runs in the first innings of the series opener in Hyderabad. To compound his woes, the 24-year-old batsman recorded a duck in the second innings. The home team suffered a 28-run defeat in the first match, giving England a 1-0 lead.

Star batsman Virat Kohli decided not to participate in the first two Tests due to personal reasons, while KL Rahul’s absence in the second Test was attributed to right quadriceps discomfort. Shubman Gill could be dropped once Kohli and Rahul return to the playing team.

You have to stay out there – Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri emphasized the importance of patience in Test cricket and warned against experienced bowlers like James Anderson. He also highlighted the significant value of Cheteshwar Pujara’s experience, particularly at home.

“It is a test match; You have to stay out there. Otherwise, you’ll get into all kinds of trouble. You go with those hard hands, reaching toward the ball. Especially with someone of Anderson’s class.” Shastri added.

Gill replaced Cheteshwar Pujara at No. 3 in the India Test line-up during the West Indies series last year. However, he managed only 45 runs in the two matches of that series. He then scored 74 runs in four innings against South Africa.

Pujara actively plays in the Ranji Trophy for Saurashtra. He started the season with a hundred against Jharkhand. He continued his batting form in subsequent matches. He has scored 538 runs in seven innings at an impressive average of 89.66 this season.

The 36-year-old represented India in 103 Tests, scoring 7,195 runs at an average of 43.60, with 19 centuries and 35 fifties. During the 2021-23 World Test Championship cycle, Pujara emerged as India’s second-highest run-scorer, amassing 928 runs at an average of 32.

Also Read: Neither Rohit Sharma nor Shubman Gill!! Aakash Chopra predicts India’s standout player in 2nd Test against England