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regular-article-logo Friday, 01 March 2024

Sunil Gavaskar slams selectors for dropping Cheteshwar Pujara, ignoring Sarfaraz Khan for two Tests in West Indies

Sunny questioned logic behind ignoring performances in Ranji Trophy and instead factoring in IPL records

PTI New Delhi Published 25.06.23, 04:51 AM
Sarfaraz Khan during a Ranji game this year

Sarfaraz Khan during a Ranji game this year PTI

Sunil Gavaskar has lashed out at the national selectors for making Cheteshwar Pujara the “scapegoat” and ignoring prolific domestic scorer Sarfaraz Khan for the two Tests in the West Indies next month.

Gavaskar questioned the logic behind ignoring performances in the Ranji Trophy — the country’s premier domestic tournament — and instead factoring in IPL records.

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“Sarfaraz Khan has been scoring at an average of 100 in all past three seasons. What does he have to do to be picked in the squad? He might not be in the XI, but you pick him in the team,” Gavaskar said of the Mumbai batter to Sports Today.

“Tell him that his performances are being recognised. Otherwise, stop playing Ranji Trophy. Say, it’s of no use, you just play IPL and think you are good enough for the red-ball game as well.”

Sarfaraz averages 79.65 in first-class cricket, second only to Donald Bradman. In all, the 25-year-old has notched up 3,505 runs in 37 first-class matches with 13 centuries.

Pujara’s absence from the Indian Test team for the Windies tour has been one of the talking points.

Gavaskar said not having millions of followers on social media platforms, like some other India stars, is no reason to drop anyone.

“Why has he been made the scapegoat for our batting failures? He has been a loyal servant of Indian cricket, a quiet and able achiever. But because he doesn’t have millions of followers on whatever platforms who would make a noise in case he gets dropped, you drop him? That is something beyond understanding,” said Gavaskar.

“What is the criteria for dropping him and keeping the others who failed? I don’t know because nowadays there is no media interaction with the selection committee chairman or whoever where you could actually ask these questions,” he added.

“Clearly only one man has been singled out while the others also failed. Apart from Ajinkya Rahane, there was nobody who got any runs. So why Pujara has been made the fall guy is something the selectors need to explain,” he said.

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