Dhoni doubtful over in-form Pujara's ODI debut

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Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 18:18 [IST]
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Rajkot, Jan 10: Team India skipper MS Dhoni on Thursday said that the Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is unlikely to play against England in the first ODI at home, having scored a triple ton against Karantaka in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final.

The 24-year-old being included in the squad for the first time, will have to wait to make his ODI debut as the team composition needs to be checked according to the skipper, who spoke to reporters at the pre-match conference on Thursday.

Pujara unlikely to play 1st ODI: Dhoni

"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.

With none of the players performing well, Team India could play in-form Cheteshwar Pujara, but Team India skipper keen on retaining the same team, would like to give it another try against England after failing against Pakistan.

Talking to reporters after the practice session on Thursday Dhoni said,"Let's see what happens tomorrow. If somebody gets unfit, we'll see..."

"As of now everyone is fit. I dont know if it will change by night, but everyone is fit now," said Dhoni.

Since Ajinkya Rahane has been playing well in the limited chances he has got so far, would be preferred as Virender Sehwag is not a part of the squad for the England ODIs.

"The stats suggest that for quite some time we have not got off to a very good start in terms of a (opening) partnership. Yes, the openers have been scoring runs on and off, but we have not been able to get a good partnership between them. One of them has been getting out. We are hoping to get good starts in this series."

Jinx (Ajinkya Rahane) is the new opener. He has played on and off and done decently well," said Dhoni.

With Rahane and Gambhir all set to open the innings for India, the entire nation would hope for a good start against England to break the jinx of the opening partnership that has not been satisfactory in the last couple of months.


Story first published:  Thursday, January 10, 2013, 17:19 [IST]
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