MSK Prasad, a former team India senior selector, views Cheteshwar Pujara’s stellar performance in the current County Championship Division Two in England as positive for India. India is preparing to face Australia in the June 7 final of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) at The Oval in London.
Prasad stated that the outstanding performance of Sussex County Cricket Club captain Pujara in the County is a good omen for India. He continued by stating that Pujara’s strength is his ability to occupy the crease as much as feasible. He added that he believes Pujara’s runs will be crucial for the Rohit Sharma-led team in the WTC final.
“His performance at the County Championship is excellent news for Team India. He is practicing in English-speaking environments and learning the language. His strength lies in his ability to occupy the crease as much as possible and maintain a steady end after several fast wickets. Prasad was quoted by NDTV Sports as saying, “I am certain his runs will not be wasted.”
Pujara is presently the second-leading run-scorer in Division Two of the County Championship, with 545 runs scored in eight innings at an average of over 68.12. So far, he has amassed three centuries and a half-century. Notably, in six matches, his best tally is 151.
MSK Prasad Prasad also discussed Ajinkya Rahane’s inclusion in the India squad for the WTC final, noting that Rahane is a confirmed performer in overseas conditions. He supported Rahane, alleging that he led India to a series victory in Australia as captain. He went on to say that experience is crucial in such critical matches, and that young players like Sarfaraz Khan will have to wait their turn.
“It is positive that new actors are emerging. However, Rahane is an experienced player for India in conditions abroad, having scored centuries in England and Australia. As captain, he won a series in Australia. For such massive events, one requires experience. It is not only about how many runs you score, but also about how you manage pressure and play your innings.
Sarfaraz must wait for his opportunities. If he persists for a year or so, I have no doubt that he will succeed. There are numerous players, such as Subramanian Badrinath, Amol Muzumdar, etc., who scored many runs in domestic cricket but had to wait for their opportunities,” Prasad said.