New Delhi, Sep 20: Former India batsman VVS Laxman feels middle-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara should be give preference over flamboyant Rohit Sharma, who are competing for the same spot in the Test squad, for Test series against New Zealand.
As per the elegant Hyderabad batsman, he would pick Pujara over Rohit in the Test series against New Zealand, starting September 22 at Kanpur.
"Given a choice, I would select Pujara. The number of runs he has made in the Duleep Trophy (453 runs in 3 innings at an average of 226.5) has made his inclusion a certainty. He is the perfect candidate to slot in at No. 3," Laxman was quoted on the sidelines of a promotional event by broadcast partner Star Sports.
He felt India should go with five bowlers in the first Test at Kanpur, and picked Murali Vijay and KL Rahul as the team's opening combination, with Pujara at number three after his impressive run of scores in the Duleep Trophy.
About Rohit, Laxman said, "He is capable of being a match winner in Test cricket, it's just about getting his game plan right."
Ever since his return from West Indies tour, the Saurashtra batter (Pujara) has performed exceptionally well in the domestic circuit where as the Mumbai dasher (Rohit) failed to capitalise over the chance he got in the Duleep Trophy and in the practice match against visitors. (Records that can be broken)
While he was lavish in his praise for India's Test skipper Virat Kohli, Laxman felt the skipper is fortunate to have the right kind of players in his arsenal.
"I think Virat Kohli is very fortunate to have players from which he can chose depending on the playing conditions. They have really impressed not ony in Indian conditions but all over the world and all of them have great work ethic.