After a string of poor performances, both Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were being called out by several followers that they needed to be rotated more often.
However, both of them were backed and started on the England tour as well. However, after a disappointing first Test at Trent Bridge, the noises came again. Cut to the second Test that is on course for its fourth day/finished its third day, India are about to bat for the second time but when they were out to bat after losing the toss, Pujara and Rahane were far from convincing.
Kohli could be and would be under the scanner as well soon but he is more proven than Pujara and Rahane by some margin and thus, he can still be afforded time.
While Pujara has been struggling with the same line over and over again, Rahane's batting doesn't seem to have any motive either. Two great Indian batsmen, but both of them have been terrible when it comes to their shot selection recently.
Due to all these reasons, Cricwizz presents to you some possible replacements for Pujara and Rahane, if in case they are considered to be left out.
Before we start, let's have a look at the comparison of Rahane and Pujara's test careers.
Prithvi Shaw has been batting decently and that is one of the reasons why he was called up for the England tour in between India's Tour of Sri Lanka.
Shaw, the 21-year-old has played five test matches and has scored 339 runs with an average of 42.37. Prithvi Shaw possesses the ability to bat at no.3 which is where Pujara bats.
What do you think? Can you fathom Shaw playing at no.3 for India in tests?
A player who already seems to have cemented his spot in India's Test squad, the best part about KL Rahul is his versatility. He can bat almost everywhere and that's why he could replace both Pujara and Rahane.
After a brilliant half-century in the first Test, KL Rahul scored a brilliant 129 in the first innings in the second innings at Lords. He would not be convinced with the way he got out the next day but it was an innings to remember.
Where would you prefer KL Rahul to play? No.3, no.5, or should he keep opening for India?
Another phenomenal player with tons of potential, Mayank Agarwal has been in and around India's test team for a while now. He has not only redeemed his capabilities as a test batsman, but he has also proven them on some occasions.
Agarwal has over 1000 runs and he is yet to play 15 test matches. His average is 45.73 and he has been very close to a 250 but failed to achieve it with seven runs short.
Having played in the Australian, West Indies, and New Zealand conditions, Agarwal's determination has helped him stay in contention. To answer the question as to which position would be more comfortable in, Agarwal also possesses a hint of flexibility.
He can bat at multiple positions as well but if we are to pick a position for him to replace either Pujara or Rahane then it is Rahane's.
Yadav was the other player to receive a call-up for the England tour besides Shaw. Suryakumar Yadav has been one of the quickest batsmen to have received a call up for an overseas tour and the fact that he bats up the order, shows how much he has impressed the selectors.
Suryakumar Yadav first caught attention when he batted down the order for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. However, for his current franchise, he bats at no.3.
Not that batting in the IPL is the same as batting in a Test match, Suryakumar, in a short period, has proven that he is a mentally robust player, a quality that is a prerequisite to achieving new feats in Test Cricket.
Yadav has over 5000 runs in first-class cricket, with ten 100s and 20 50s. He is the closest to KL Rahul in terms of versatility, and just like him, even Suryakumar is capable of batting in Pujara and Rahane's positions but the only difference is that he is yet to prove himself in Test Cricket, while KL Rahul has already if not proven himself but at least given the world a glimpse of his potential.
A name that is known to very few, Abhimanyu is also in India's squad for the England tour and barely anyone has any idea of it. The Uttarakhand-born youngster has over 4400 runs in first-class cricket and an average of above 40.
He can bat down the order and he can open the innings too as he's done quite a few times in his first-class career. So if there's a question about replacing either Pujara or Rahane, he could take Rahane's position and could also try to prove himself at Pujara's.
What may come next, you never know. What do you think? What is India's approach going to be regarding these two? Will Rahane and Pujara be replaced? Or will we see both of them getting back to their best soon?
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