‘Would Happily See Cheteshwar Pujara Open The Batting if Rohit Sharma Fails to Recover’: Graeme Swann – SportsMediaz

Former England spinner Graeme Swann feels that having an outstanding season with Sussex will boost Cheteshwar Pujara’s confidence going forward in the rescheduled fifth Test match between India and England which will be played on July 1 at Edgbaston. Pujara has been going through a lean patch with the bat in the Indian jersey as his last international century came way back in 2019.

After an underwhelming show on South Africa tour, Pujara was dropped from the Test squad for the Sri Lanka series. However, the Indian talisman bounced back with a plethora of runs in his county stint with Sussex when most of the Indian players were playing IPL.

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Pujara slammed four centuries in five matches, while he converted two of them into double tons. He amassed 720 runs in five matches, with scores of 6, 201 not out, 109, 12, 203, 16, 170* and 3 which helped him make a comeback in the Indian side for the postponed fifth Test against England.

Replying to a News18 Cricketnext query at a select media interaction organised by Sony Sports Network, Swann said that Pujara’s recent form for Sussex is going to give India an advantage as he tackled the English conditions quite well when the ball swings around the most.

“Definitely having Cheteshwar Pujara played a lot of county cricket at the start of the year and do phenomenally well as he scored heaps of runs. He was phenomenal for Sussex, I think that is a massive bonus for India. Having a player who has been in England at the start of the season when the ball swings around, scoring so heavily and used to English conditions that definitely gives him leg up the ladder,” Swann said.

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Meanwhile, Indian captain Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19 which has put doubts over his participation in the fifth Test.

Swann feels that India should use Pujara as the opener if Rohit fails to recover in time. While he also suggested that Mayank Agarwal, who has been called up as the reserve opener, can be used in the middle order at number 5.

“I really like Mayank Agarwal, he is a wonderful player. I don’t think he is someone who has to open the batting so I would happily see Pujara open the batting but it depends on Indian selectors if they want to or not and move everyone around him,” Swann said.

(Watch the LIVE coverage of the much anticipated fifth Test between England and India on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi), and SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels starting from 1st July at 3:30 pm IST.)

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