What’s the story?
“I would like those who are not playing IPL, especially Pujara, to go and play county cricket in England. He would encounter different types of wickets in April and May which will give good experience and exposure. It will help him when he tours England or other places where the ball moves around and bounces,” Azhar remarked.
In case you didn’t know...
Cheteshwar Pujara, one of the key members of the Indian Test team, went unsold during the Indian Premier League 2017 auctions. Pujara, who was up for sale for a base price of INR 50 lakhs did not catch the interest of the franchises in the 10th edition of the league.
The heart of the matter
The former Indian skipper spoke to reporters at the cricket club of India while addressing the inaugural Raj Singh Memorial Spirit of Cricket Lecture.
Azhar, who has 22 Test tons to his name, also spoke about the top players missing the IPL due to injuries or other concerns. He said that the unfit players should be given a period of time to rest and rejuvenate instead of being a part of the IPL.
For other players who went unsold, especially Pujara, he feels county cricket will give them better exposure and experience when the Indian side tours England in the future.
Pujara, after a superb home season, may find himself part of the IPL after all as several key players have pulled out of the tournament due to injury. Teams like the Kings XI Punjab and the Delhi Daredevils are in need of a top-order batsman and Pujara might be the right choice for these franchises.
Mohammad Azharuddin, an experienced veteran with over 15500 runs in Tests and ODIs, has made a very valid point when it comes to India’s batting future. The English county cricket will be one such tournament where the players from the sub-continent can gain some much-needed experience to face the bouncing and moving deliveries.
Missing the IPL may not be bad news for a player like Pujara as he can take some much-deserved rest and can also hone his craft to face future challenges.