Gavaskar questions India’s decision to leave Pujara and Pandey out of Afghanistan clash

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

“Are you worried that Cheteshwar Pujara will score runs so that your favourites who are not consistent might have to make way?”

Legendary India batsman Sunil Gavaskar has questioned the national team’s decision to leave out batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and pace bowler Ishwar Pandey for their Asia Cup clash against Afghanistan on March 5.

Gavaskar believes the pair should have played since both sides had already been knocked out of the tournament.

“Very hard to understand, to be honest with you, it’s baffling,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports. “Some of the players have been playing non-stop, they need a bit of a break before the World T20 starts, the second thing is if you are not going to give the reserve players a chance, then when are they going to play.”

Pujara averages 58.92 in domestic ODIs, but has only represented India in two ODIs.

“Are you worried that Cheteshwar Pujara will score runs so that your favourites who are not consistent might have to make way?” Gavaskar said. “Are you worried that Ishwar Pandey will pick wickets, and again some of your favourite bowlers might not be certain of a place in the team, what are you worried about?

“The only thing that comes to my mind is that there is that worry and there’s probably a fear that if these guys do well, what happens to our favourites in the team.

“This is what breeds complacency, guys know, kuch bhi karoon, team main hoon (whatever I do, I’m in the team).”

However, India captain Virat Kohli defended his decision not to include Pujara and Pandey in the squad during the coin toss.

“It is important the team gets confidence from playing one unit, you have to be patient with this side,” Kohli said. “We are in a transition phase as far as one-days are concerned, we have shown great fight in this tournament, people have to be patient with us, we surely have the talent, but we will have to wait for the experience to come.”

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