Discarded India star uploads batting video following Centurion loss
India batter Cheteshwar Pujara, who is currently not part of the national Test side due to a prolonged period of poor form, shared a video of his net practice session on December 30. This comes a day after his longtime teammate, Ajinkya Rahane also posted a similar video on Twitter on December 29. Both players have been sidelined from the current Indian Test squad.
The timing of these posts are interesting, coinciding with India's substantial Test defeat in Centurion. Rahane, who was the vice-captain in the last Test series, has been replaced by Shreyas Iyer for the ongoing South Africa Tests. Similarly, Pujara lost his place after the World Test Championship (WTC) final, with Yashasvi Jaiswal taking his spot.
While the Indian team hoped for a smooth transition of the middle order in the Test format, the new faces registered massive failures on the all-important tour.
Cheteshwar Pujara gears up for domestic season
In Pujara's recent post, he mentioned being in "Ranji Trophy prep mode." The 2023/24 Ranji Trophy, India's premier first-class tournament, is set to commence on January 5. Pujara's team, Saurashtra, is scheduled to play against Jharkhand at their home ground in Rajkot. Notably, the video shows Pujara practicing with a white ball, unlike the red ball used in first-class cricket.
It's worth mentioning that Pujara's last social media post showcasing his batting skills was on November 26, 2023, just before the start of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the premier List A tournament in India.
It will now be interesting too see if Rahane and Pujara will get picked for the five-match Test series against England at home.
Ranji Trophy prep mode: 🔛 pic.twitter.com/kFN3PyvTHx— Cheteshwar Pujara (@cheteshwar1) December 30, 2023