Dhoni keeps triple centurion Pujara waiting

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Published: Friday, January 11, 2013, 12:43 [IST]
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Rajkot, Jan 11: Cheteshwar Pujara, fresh from his triple century knock in Ranji Trophy, has been kept waiting by India captain MS Dhoni and the team management to make his One Day International debut.

Pujara, who is part of the India squad for the ODI series against England, was not picked in the playing XI on Friday as the visitors batted first at the newly constructed Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Stadium.

Dhoni keeps Pujara waiting

The right-hander, who has been impressive in Tests for India, replaced Virender Sehwag in the squad of 15. However, he will have to wait till the next game or beyond that to wear India blue cap.

Pujara, a prolific run scorer in domestic cricket, scored a triple hundred, 352 (548 minutes, 427 balls, 49x4, 1x6) against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final on Thursday. He was playing for Saurashtra in the same city, Rajkot where India and England teams are battling it out now. Though, the new stadium is in Khandheri, 10 kilometres away from Rajkot, the city is home for Pujara. The 24-year-old has scored plenty of runs in Rajkot and the new stadium's pitch for first ODI was a perfect one for batting.

It would have been a great opportunity for Pujara to extend his rich vein of batting form on this docile pitch and lightning fast outfield.

On the eve of the match, Dhoni had indicated that Pujara will have to wait for his turn.

"Well it (Pujara's 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," Dhoni said on Thursday.

"Let's see what happens tomorrow. If somebody gets unfit, we'll see. As of now everyone is fit. I don't know if it will change by night, but everyone is fit now," he had added.

Pujara is capable of delivering in the shorter format of the game and he deserves a place sooner than later.


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