“Audacity To…”: Ex Pacer Slams Former Selector On Suryakumar-Pujara Swap

The Border-Gavaskar Trophy will start on Thursday with India geared up to face the ever-competitive Australia in Nagpur in the first Test. There is a lot of interest regarding the Indian batting order. With a plethora of talents, it isn’t yet confirmed as to what is India’s playing XI for the series opener. Former India coach Ravi Shastri doesn’t want Suryakumar Yadav to be ruled out from the playing XI as a quick 40 on a rank turner from him could be a potential game-changer. “Tough choice. You have to pick the best player for that position (No. 5). Surya is one player who will be proactive and looking to rotate the strike,” Shastri, a veteran of 80 Tests, said.

“If you want to do well in India, you have got to rotate the strike and not let bowlers bowl maidens at you. Blocking won’t help. A quick 30 or 40 could decide the fate of game. He (Surya) can get (the runs) quickly and disrupt the opposition. India should back themselves to win by two-match margin,” Shastri, a veteran of 80 Tests said.

Even former BCCI selector Sunil Joshi included Suryakumar in his playing XI in place of the veteran Cheteshwar Pujara.

“Will India line up like this in the first test? Deliberation between Pujara & Surya,a tough draw between both lefties Kuldeep &Axar. Here’s my XI: R Sharma, Shubhman Gill, Surya (should get first look in ), V Kohli, KL Rahul, KS Bharat, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Kuldeep Y, M Shami, M Siraj,” Sunil Joshi tweeted.

Joshi’s choice, however, surprised former India pacer Dodda Ganesh, who took a dig at Joshi without taking his name.

“One of the ex-selectors wants Surya to be chosen ahead of Pujara for tests. Let that sink in. I mean, the audacity to even think that one can replace Pujara with someone who’s yet to play a Test, boggles my mind. No wonder poor Pujara has been a scapegoat all his life #BGT2023,” Dodda Ganesh tweeted.

With Shreyas Iyer out of the first Test, Suryakumar’s inclusion, if at all, is likely to be made in his place, and not Pujara who remains a stalwart of the team in this format.

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