Ganguly picks Pujara as India’s No. 4 for World Cup
As per Sourav Ganguly, Cheteshwar Pujara can provide stability to India's middle order.

Former captain Sourav Ganguly has picked Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara for India’s No. 4 spot at the World Cup. Ganguly, who led India to the final of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, feels Pujara is the solution to India’s No. 4 conundrum, however surprising it might sound. (READ: Sourav Ganguly joins Delhi Capitals as advisor)

“See, I am going to say something that might not sound believable to many viewers, and a lot of people might laugh at my suggestion,” Ganguly told India TV. “But for me, Cheteshwar Pujara should be India’s No. 4 in ODIs. (READ: Pujara deserved to be in A-plus bracket, says Niranjan Shah)

“His fielding might be a bit weak, but he is a very good batsman. I know people will be shocked by my claim, but if you want a quality batsman who is better than the options India has tried of late, I think Pujara is the best choice.”

Pujara has played five ODIs for India, scoring 51 runs, his last match dating back to 2014 in Dhaka against Bangladesh. Since, Pujara has evolved into a Test match specialist with his stocks really rising in the Test series against Australia, where he played a huge role in India claiming the series 2-1. Pujara led the way with 521 runs in four matches.

India captain Virat Kohli backed Ambati Rayudu for the No. 4 spot but the batsman’s inconsistent scores once again seems to have left the spot open. Although Kohli insisted that he has India’s World Cup Playing XI already decided, the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari have done remarkably well in the domestic circuit to stake a claim for the World Cup. What doesn’t work for them though is lack of international matches.

Pujara on the other hand, recently struck a 61-ball century – his maiden T20I century for Saurashtra against Railways in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. And Ganguly feels that Pujara, like his former India teammate Rahul Dravid, provides solidarity to the middle order, which promises to offer India stability.

“Sometimes, you need solidity in one-day cricket, and Pujara provides you with that in ample measure,” Ganguly said. “Especially when your top three batsmen are so capable and are scoring a mountain of runs.”