IND v SL 2022: Gavaskar feels Kohli is ideal replacement for Pujara at no.3

Cheteshwar Pujara, who used to bat at No. 3 in Tests, has been dropped from the squad.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli | GETTY

India cricket great Sunil Gavaskar is backing former India captain Virat Kohli to bat at number 3 in the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. BCCI selectors have dropped Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara from the Indian Test squad.

Pujara used to be India's number 3 batter in Test cricket, and now after his exclusion, Gavaskar believes Kohli is the ideal replacement. He added that the best batter of the team bats at the number 3 spot and gave the example of Australia's Ricky Ponting.

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“Ideally, Kohli should go at No.3. Because the best batsman you see...Ricky Ponting goes at 3. Joe Root bats at No.4, but I feel he will be batting at No.3 in West Indies. So the best batsman of the team is batting at No.3. 

"He is capable of tackling the new ball in case there is an early wicket and he has also got the ability to up the tempo of the team has got off to a good start. So Kohli at three would be ideal,” Gavaskar told India Today.

If not Kohli, the cricketer-turned-commentator is in favor of Hanuma Vihari to take the spot. “Otherwise, you can look at Hanuma Vihari, who has done well in South Africa and showed a lot of courage,” he added. 

Apart from Pujara and Rahane, Team India doesn't feature Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma in the Test squad as well. While it looks tough for Saha and Ishant to come back into the team, selectors have kept the door open for the two veteran batters, who can enter through a good outing in Ranji Trophy.

(With India Today Inputs)


By - 26 Feb, 2022

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