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Pujara's 352 won't count

Even a triple hundred is not enough to guarantee a place in India’s ODI playing XI. Saurashtra middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a 352 in the second innings of the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals against Karnataka, is unlikely to make his ODI debut when India take on England in the first one-dayer in his hometown Rajkot today.

Cheteshwar Pujara
Run machine: Cheteshwar Pujara during the second Test between India and Australia at Bangalore in 2010. PIC/AFP

“Well it (Pujara’s ODI debut) looks very unlikely as of now because we have to see the whole batting line-up, the position he’s ideally suited for and all those things. As of now, it looks very unlikely,” said skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here yesterday.

Everyone is fit
“Let’s see what happens tomorrow. If somebody gets unfit, we’ll see. As of now everyone is fit. I don’t know if it will change by night, but everyone is fit now,” Dhoni added. Pujara, who was unbeaten on 261 on Wednesday, sought the Indian team management’s permission to carry on with the Ranji Trophy fixture and skipped Team India’s practice session.

The prolific middle-order batsman went on to amass 352 to notch up his second Ranji Trophy triple century.  Dhoni, however, admitted the opening partnership has been a cause of concern for Team India in the recent times.  “The stats suggest that for quite some time we have not got off to a very good start in terms of a (opening) partnership.

Yes, the openers have been scoring runs on and off, but we have not been able to get a good partnership between them. One of them has been getting out. Hoping for a start “We are hoping to get good starts in this series. Jinx (Ajinkya Rahane) is the new opener. He has played on and off and done decently well,” the skipper said. 

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