Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara has a good record as an opener!Reuters

Team India's injury concerns have become increasingly frustrating in the current tour of Sri Lanka. After Shikhar Dhawan, it's another opener Murali Vijay, apart from wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who have been ruled out from the rest of the Test series against Sri Lanka.

But the team need not feel disheartened, after all. It can take comfort that there are equally good players such as Cheteshwar Pujara, who holds a decent record as an opening batsman, to play for India. 

One might just be tempted to say that this is a lucky break for the Saurashtra batsman, but the fact remains he is also the need of the hour.

India have lost both their in-form openers in this series because of injuries. KL Rahul was adjudged the man of the match for his century in the first innings of the second Test match at the P Sara Oval in Colombo. So it is Pujara who will pair with Rahul at the top of the batting order in the third and final Test match of the series against Sri Lanka.

"Looking at these conditions the reason behind getting Nair is we can have Pujara opening. He's done it before in these conditions. The idea is to have Pujara open with Rahul since it's only one Test," India captain Virat Kohli, who registered his first win as a full-fledged skipper, told reporters at the post-match press conference on Monday.

"He's done it in the past and I'm confident he can do it in the next Test," added Kohli. 

Pujara has warmed the bench for quite some time now as Rahul and Rohit Sharma pipped him. Pujara had opened the batting for India against England at Motera 2012-13 and that was his first Test match. He also opened in the very next Test at Firoz Shah Kotla in New Delhi in which he score 52 and 82.

To be honest, Pujara has an astonishing average of 101.50 as an opener for India. If Kohli asks Pujara to open the batting for India in the third Test against Sri Lanka, it could just be a boon for this young Indian batsman.  

"When there is the demand for Pujara to open in the next Test, he's happy to do it. Someone like Pujara will understand if he has to open for just one Test and then maybe sit out for the next," explained Kohli.

"As professional sportsmen you understand the reasoning. We'll try to stick to the same batting order for the next match. We know that Rahane can bat at number three, five or six. Rohit is capable of batting at five. Good to have flexibility," he added.    

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