The most prestigious tournament in the Indian domestic circuit, the Ranji Trophy 2023-24, is set to commence on January 5 and the finals is set to be played from March 10.
In preparation for the upcoming tournament, the renowned Indian batter, Cheteshwar Pujara, has started training in the nets. In a recent video shared on social media, he can be seen refining his batting skills and practicing in the nets.
The 35-year-old cricketer, following in the footsteps of his India teammate Ajinkya Rahane, shared his preparation video just days after India’s significant Test loss to South Africa away from home. Notably, Pujara’s last international appearance was during the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final against Australia at The Oval in London, where he scored 14 and 27 runs in the first and second innings, respectively. Following India’s defeat, he was dropped from the national team.
However, after another Test loss against South Africa, where India succumbed to an innings and 32 runs defeat within three days, Pujara hinted at a comeback. Pujara will participate in the 2024 Ranji Trophy for Saurashtra, starting with an Elite Group A match against Jharkhand on Friday, January 5, at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.
Recently, Harbhajan Singh, former Indian off-spinner and renowned cricket expert, expressed his views, attributing India’s loss in the first Test against South Africa to the absence of Cheteshwar Pujara from the team. He raised questions about the selectors’ decision to exclude top performers like Ajinkya Rahane and Pujara from the playing XI.
“You didn’t select Ajinkya Rahane and have left Cheteshwar Pujara out for no reason. These are the two players who have scored runs everywhere. If you look at the previous record Pujara has the same contribution as Kohli had. I absolutely clueless why Pujara has been left out, we still don’t have a better batter than Puajra in Test cricket. He plays slowly but he saves you, because of him India won Test in Australia and England,” Harbhajan Singh was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.