Former West Indies legend Michael Holding wants Indian team management to replace Hardik Pandya with Cheteshwar Pujara. In fact, Whispering Death believes that Pujara is too good a player to be dropped from the playing XI.

Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara was surprisingly dropped from the first Test match at Edgbaston. Pujara didn’t have the best of County Season as he scored a mere 172 runs while playing for Yorkshire.

England vs India 2018, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hardik Pandya, Michael Holding
Cheteshwar Pujara was dropped from the first Test. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Pujara is too good a player to be dropped.

Thus, Pujara had to pay the price for his poor form. Pujara had failed to get going on the South African tour. In fact, Pujara holds the second best rank for India as he is at the sixth place in the ICC Test Rankings.

“One thing I would like to see India do is to find a way to get Pujara into this team,” Holding told Sky Sports. “I do not understand how they are so reluctant to play Pujara. He’s too good a player.”

Meanwhile, the former West Indies legendary fast bowler was perplexed on the ouster of Pujara. Holding went on to question whether India will drop Virat Kohli on the back of a poor run of form. However, the former fiery fast bowler said that he is not trying to compare Kohli skills with Pujara.

England vs India 2018, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hardik Pandya, Michael Holding
Credits: Getty

“If Kohli had no form, would they leave him out? I’m not saying Pujara is as good as Kohli because Kohli is way above everyone else. But when you have (for example) a Rahul Dravid, a VVS Laxman or a Sourav Ganguly who is not in excellent form, do you leave them out? No,” said Holding.

Furthermore, Michael Holding believes that India doesn’t require Hardik Pandya as a bowler in the England conditions. Consequently, it makes more sense to bring in Cheteshwar Pujara in place of Hardik Pandya.

England vs India 2018, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hardik Pandya, Michael Holding
Hardik Pandya. Photo Credit: BCCI.

“Hardik Pandya, it seems as if he’s the golden boy in this team. Everyone thinks he’s going to be the next Kapil Dev. He hasn’t shown that yet. “Why not pick a batsman (instead)? Pandya got a few runs in the second innings but is he a better batsman than Pujara? I don’t think so, and you don’t need him as a bowler in my eyes,” added Michael Holding.

It is a hard call to try and understand Indian team selection. They have taken some peculiar selection decisions in the recent past. In fact, the current form looks like to criteria to crack a spot in the final XI of the Indian team.