India great Anil Kumble feels Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma deserve to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as both have the quality to perform in the shortest format. While Ishant was lucky to be picked up by Delhi Capitals in the recent IPL 2019 auction, Pujara remained unsold. "Test players who are playing for India like Ishant and Pujara as well should be a part of the league. I am glad that Ishant finally got a chance to play and is doing really well," Kumble said.
Speaking during an on-camera chat on TV during the IPL 2019 match between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings, Kumble said, "Ishant has both the skills and the confidence. He has done extremely well in Test cricket in the recent past and deserves a place in the IPL. It is unfortunate that some players have to miss out."
Pujara played five seasons of the IPL between 2010 and 2014, turning out for Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore, however failing to find his groove in the country's showpiece T20 tournament. Despite having cemented his place in India's Test side since then, he has been ignored by IPL franchises in recent years. Like previous years, Pujara was unpicked in the IPL auction, despite his base price being only 50 lakh INR.
Playing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament earlier this year, Pujara scored the first T20 century of his career, thereby becoming the first batsman from Saurashtra to reach the three-figure mark in T20s.
Kumble also praised young talents putting their skills on display in the IPL. "The young guns are fearless. We saw that with Prithvi Shaw, with Rishabh Pant in the game against Mumbai Indians and it's amazing to see such talent," he said.