Indian Premier League 2011 May 11, 2011

Pujara doubtful for remainder of IPL

ESPNcricinfo staff

Cheteshwar Pujara is in danger of missing out on the rest of the IPL season after injuring his knee while fielding in Royal Challengers Bangalore's win against Kochi Tuskers Kerala last week. Pujara picked up the injury when his foot got stuck in the turf as he attempted a sliding save in the Chinnaswamy Stadium outfield. He played no further part in the game, though he managed to hobble back to the dressing room, refusing the assistance of a stretcher.

A chat with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) physiotherapist, and some intial scans revealed that there was no swelling in the knee. Pujara has not travelled with his team to Jaipur for tonight's game against Rajasthan Royals. He is currently in his hometown, Rajkot, and will return to Bangalore for an MRI scan later this week, after which the team management will take a call on his further involvement.

This is not the first time Pujara has picked up an injury in the IPL. In the 2009 edition that was hosted in South Africa, he injured his left knee during a warm-up game in the lead-up to the tournament, and was forced out of action for six months. He managed to bounce back from that setback, and even forced his way into the Indian Test team on the back of a series of strong domestic performances. The timing of his injury, and the recovery time, could impact his participation in the upcoming tour of West Indies. The tour begins in early June, though the Test leg gets underway only on June 20.

For the moment, Bangalore are not giving up on Pujara's return. Ray Jennings, Bangalore's coach, said that he would like to wait for the final scans before taking a decision. "There have been a few conflicting reports about Pujara's status," Jennings told ESPNcricinfo. "At first, it seemed quite serious, but now he feels a little better. We are awaiting the results of his scans at the NCA and will take a final call before the next game [against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday].

"Pujara is a very good cricketer, and it will be a disappointment for him if he doesn't recover. But it will open up opportunities for some of the other youngsters in the side."

Pujara has not had too many opportunities so far in the season and has scored only 34 runs in three innings in seven games, batting low in a powerful line-up. Despite the modest returns, Jennings recently suggested Pujara had the potential to replace the England-bound Tillakaratne Dilshan as an opener, but the injury has made things uncertain.

Mohammad Kaif has been in and out of the Bangalore XI, and is the front-runner for Pujara's lower middle-order spot. South African batsmen Rilee Rossouw and Jonathan Vandiar are the other candidates, though they are more likely to replace Dilshan at the top of the order.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 12, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    "well no doubt pujara has been the best run machine in the domestic circuit". Unfortunately he wasn't really. The real run machines were Badrinath and Rohit Sharma. Its about time they gave Badri a go

  • Sandman5five on May 12, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    Who cares if Pujara can take any further part in this IPL or not? He is a far more valuable asset for "Test Team India". Hope he recovers in time for the West Indies Tests. And if not that, then at least for the England Tour. That is where we really need him. That will be the true stage where he can do justice to his talent. Get well soon Puj!

  • dummy4fb on May 11, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Pujara is on of the future faces of Indian Cricket. Small niggles like missing out on IPL matches won't hurt his chances in anyway at all.

  • dummy4fb on May 11, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    good for rcb , they can replace him easily, its not like hes contributed to the team in any way what so ever!

  • dummy4fb on May 11, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    well..its ok if he misses the ipl,lets hope he gets a chance in test matches and proves himself there,sehwag also should not have played ipl if he had a risk of even missing the england tour

  • avinashvikramsingh on May 11, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    well no doubt pujara has been the best run machine in the domestic circuit its unfortunate not to see him playing in IPL...but anyways time for his VETERAN TEAMMATE KAIF to show his metal now....all the best KAIFuuu

  • Horn.OK.Please on May 11, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    There goes another opportunity to prove himself in tests..

  • dummy4fb on May 11, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    Pujara is a talented youngster and hope he will recover soon; if not for the IPL, then at least for the West Indies tour. It would be cruel if he were to miss the series. He deserves to be in the Indian side and he has worked hard for it. We shall pray for you, Chateshwar Pujara!! Keep your chin up.

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