Former chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar on Friday slammed the current panel’s decision to recall Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara for a Test against Afghanistan bringing an early end to his county stint ahead of the India’s high-profile tour of England.
The former India cricketer felt that the county stint would have held more relevance for the players preparing for the tough England tour rather than a Test in India against a side which is making its Test debut.
“If I was the selector, I would have asked Pujara to stay back and play county cricket in England,” Vengsarkar said. “Pujara coming back and playing against Afghanistan defies logic to me because he is playing county cricket there. He is not that consistent and he would have got more chances to play in England, score runs and get into the groove,” he added.
Pujara, along with Ishant Sharma were among the few Indian cricketers who failed to be picked up by an Indian Premier Legaue franchise in the ongoing season. The duo spent the time playing county cricket in England. However, their selection in the squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistant, which will be held in Bengaluru from June 14, means that the duo will return to India for the game before returning to England for the tour.
Vengsarkar felt the scheduling of the Afghanistan Test was botched up, adding that the focus should have been on the England tour.
“To be honest with you the timing of the Afghanistan Test match is wrong,” Vengsarkar said. “They should have concentrated more of England tour. Probably because of the FTP we have to play Afghanistan now,” he added.
The all-important series will see India play England in three Twenty20 matches, three ODIs and five Tests.
Vengsarkar felt that the intinerary of the tour provided enough time for the players to acclimatise to the English conditions.
“If you see the itinerary of this tour there are enough games to play before the first Test match. So the players get enough time to acclimatise. Whereas in South Africa they had no game before the first Test,” Vengsarkar said.