Cheteshwar Pujara unlikely to play in home ODI: M S Dhoni

Cheteshwar Pujara

Prolific Saurashtra middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who slammed his career's second Ranji Trophy triple hundred today, may have to wait a little more to make his ODI debut, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni indicated today.

"Well it (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 Dhoni on the eve of the first ODI against England at the SCA stadium here.

"Let's see what happens tomorrow. If somebody gets unfit, we'll see...," he added.

Pujara, who notched up 352 this morning in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match against Karnataka, has played nine Tests with distinction for the country and has scored three hundreds and a fifty in his fledgling international career.

The 24-year-old cricketer has been included in the ODI squad for the first time in place of Virender Sehwag.

Instead of practicing with the rest of the Indian team, Pujara continued batting in the Ranji Trophy game after getting permission from the team management.

"As of now everyone is fit. I don't know if it will change by night, but everyone is fit now," said Dhoni.

Dhoni conceded that the lack of big opening partnerships has hurt the World Cup champions' chances in ODIs off late.

Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have struggled to cobble together sufficiently big opening partnerships for the rest of the batting line up to build upon.

"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. We are hoping to get good starts in this series.

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