Madan Lal Feels “Struggling” Cheteshwar Pujara Might Get Pushed Out Of India’s Playing XI

India vs South Africa: Former India all-rounder Madan Lal has claimed that there are a few players in the squad that are capable of pushing Cheteshwar Pujara out of the playing XI

Despite being one of India’s mainstays in the batting department, veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara has struggled to find consistency and has struggled to score runs off late in the longest format of the game. On Day 1 of the ongoing first Test between India and South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, Pujara was dismissed for a golden duck by Lungi Ngidi in the first innings. With the likes of Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer making headways with their recent performances, Pujara’s place in the playing XI is coming under a lot of scrutiny.

Amid his recent struggles, former India medium pacer Madan Lal has claimed that there are a few players in the squad that are capable of pushing Pujara out of the playing XI, as far as Test cricket is concerned.

“Pujara is struggling. There are no two ways about it. There are players in the squad who can push him out of the XI. At No. 3, even the captain needs a player you can hold the innings and get some runs at the same time,” Madan Lal said on Aaj Tak.

Decoding the reason behind the 33-year-old’s poor form, the 70-year-old added: “At times, Pujara gets stuck way too much. So clearly, he is struggling”.

Pujara registered an unwanted record after he was dismissed on the first ball on Boxing Day. He has now recorded the most number of ducks by an India batter at No. 3, leaving behind Dilip Vengsarkar.

In the ongoing first Test, India put themselves in the driver’s seat by bowling South Africa out for 197 after putting a 327 on board. Pacer Mohammed Shami grabbed a five-wicket haul and also reached the milestone of 200 Test wickets. In their second innings, India lost pener Mayank Agarwal early and were 16/1 at stumps, leading South Africa by 146 runs.

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