Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Right-handed middle order batsman Shreyas Iyer has struggled to score in the first two games against England in the ongoing Test series. He has managed to score 35, 13, 27, 29 in the first two matches. Iyer’s dismal form has put a tremendous pressure on the Indian batting order. 

However, selectors will be relieved that Iyer had complained of stiff back and groin pain to the team management after the second Test. But now the question mark is who will replace him in the playing XI for the third Test, which begins at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on February 15?

Fans are intrigued whether India will bring back veteran batsman Cheteshwar Pujara who is currently in prolific form in the domestic cricket. Pujara scored his 62nd first-class hundred against Rajasthan in the Elite Group A match in Jaipur. It was his second triple-figure score in this edition of the red-ball tournament, where he is the third-highest run-getter, having amassed 648 runs in six matches, including two fifties.

However, as per sources, it is least likely that India would go back to Pujara, who last appeared in the WTC final against Australia in June 2023. India has decided to invest in younger options throughout the current Test Championship cycle.

In case the management fails to get a positive update on KL Rahul and considers Pujara option as far-fetched, they can test Sarfaraz Khan for the role.