Drop Raina, play Pujara against England

Chesteshwar Pujara has gone all out to prove that he can be another Virender Sehwag. In the Ranji quarter-finals against Karnataka, he slammed 352 off 427 balls with 49 fours and 1 six.

Add to this, his record against the Englishmen in the Test series — 438 runs at 87.60 — and he should be a shoe-in for a spot in the playing XI. It's important to pick batsmen who are in form and are feeling confident about their game.

However, India has a strange habit of keeping in-form batsmen on the bench -- we've seen it happen with Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary and Rohit Sharma over and over again. Now, it just might happen to Pujara too.

Pujara was a star in the Test series. PTI

Pujara was a star in the Test series. PTI

"Well it (ODI debut) looks very unlikely as of now because we have to see the whole batting line-up the position he's ideally suited for and all those things. As of now, it looks very unlikely," said Dhoni on the eve of the first ODI against England at the SCA stadium in Rajkot. "Let's see what happens tomorrow. If somebody gets unfit, we'll see."

But senior sports writer Ayaz Memon believes that Pujara's name should be the first one on the team list.

"I would put his name first on the team list. And then of course, Dhoni has to be in there. But these two are an absolute must. The rest of the team will depend on the wicket too," said Ayaz during SportsTalk.

The Rajkot wicket is generally known to assist the batsmen and won't exactly give a lot of support to the pacemen. It might be just the thing that India need to push Pujara into the team. But who to drop?

"I would look at Yuvraj Singh or Suresh Raina, if India is looking to drop a batsman. More Raina than Yuvraj though. Raina has been around for a long time and he just hasn't produced the big knocks. It's time he proves himself. He can't be a rookie forever."

Published Date: Jan 11, 2013 09:09 am | Updated Date: Jan 11, 2013 09:14 am

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