Indian cricketers Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are gearing up to participate in the division two of the County Championship after the West Indies tour in July. Rahane will represent Leicestershire, while Pujara will return to Sussex. Both players have made significant contributions in the domestic English competition in previous seasons, and their participation this year is highly anticipated.
Cheteshwar Pujara has already played six games for Sussex earlier this season before the World Test Championship (WTC) final. In those matches, he showcased his batting prowess, scoring three centuries and a half-century in eight innings. Pujara’s successful stint with Sussex demonstrates his ability to adapt to different conditions and perform consistently at a high level.
Ajinkya Rahane recently made a remarkable comeback to the Indian team during the WTC final against Australia, displaying his class with scores of 89 and 46. Head coach Rahul Dravid had emphasized that strong performances could earn Rahane an extended run in Tests, even when other injured players return to the team. Rahane had signed a deal with Leicestershire in January, initially planning to participate in eight first-class games and the entire 50-over Royal London Cup from June to September. However, due to his Test commitments, Rahane couldn’t join his county side immediately after the Indian Premier League (IPL) concluded.
According to a BCCI source, Rahane is expected to join Leicestershire after the two Tests against the West Indies, which are scheduled to end on July 24. He will participate in the Royal London Cup in August and potentially play four county games in September. Rahane’s focus on red-ball cricket during this period will provide him with valuable game time and preparation ahead of the domestic season in India.
Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara had a strong start to his county season in April, scoring a century against Durham and adding more hundreds against Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Pujara also served as the captain for Sussex in the six games he played, amassing an impressive total of 545 runs at an average of 68.12. Similar to last year, Pujara will also feature in the Royal London Cup, further enhancing his skills in limited-overs cricket.
Arshdeep Singh, a left-arm fast bowler, is currently the only Indian player participating in the county circuit. Representing Kent in his maiden county season, Singh has already made his mark in the competition, showcasing his bowling abilities in the lone game he has played so far.