Indian Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will play for Saurashtra in next week's Ranji Trophy final against Bengal in Rajkot.
Whether all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is available for the fixture, though, remains in the balance. Later this year, Jadeja will be with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. CSK are priced at 6.00 by bet365 to win the 2020 IPL. Pujara hasn't collected an IPL contract this season.
“Cheteshwar will be back for sure, Ravindra I am not sure,” said Saurashtra seamer Jaydev Unadkat. “Pujara and I have been constantly in touch, he cares for the team as much as I do and I am sure he will be quite happy once he lands in Mumbai. He is in the flight back from New Zealand right now.”
Pujara and Jadeja were part of the squad that were whitewashed two-nil in the recent Test series against New Zealand. Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha was also on the tour, but did not play in the Christchurch or Wellington Test. Fellow wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was preferred.
Saha vs Pant
Former India batsman and selector Sandeep Patil, meanwhile, has questioned the preference for Pant over Saha.
“You are promoting Rishabh, but playing with the career of Wriddhiman,” Patil was quoted as saying by Mid-day.
“Saha will always be my first choice as wicketkeeper simply because you need experience and he is more experienced. Saha has also always rescued the team; so why are you taking away his batting confidence? I know what Saha is capable of.”
Saha will represent the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2020 IPL. Indian and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli had plenty of praise for Saha late last year.
“He's played well for us whenever he's got a chance, with the bat also, and it was unfortunate that he was out for such a long period because of an injury, and according to me he's the best wicketkeeper in the world,” said Kohli.
Prior to the IPL, several Indian stars will be involved in a three-ODI series against South Africa. They will contest three matches in Kolkata, Lucknow and Dharamsala. The Proteas have named the uncapped George Linde in the squad. Linde debuted in Test cricket in India last year, but hasn't yet played ODI or T20I cricket.