Pujara has been dropped from India’s Test squad for their two-Test series against West Indies, with Ajinkya Rahane to take over as vice-captain.
The 35-year-old’s axing comes after a run of low scores against Australia, who he has averaged 25.85 against in five Tests in 2023.
Pujara passed 50 once in six innings in the home Border-Gavaskar Trophy series earlier this year, before scores of 14 and 27 in the World Test Championship final.
His dip in form comes after years of being the main resistance for India against Australia, dating back to his double-century at Hyderabad in 2013.
He scored another double-ton against Australia in Ranchi in 2017 to deny Australia a chance to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Then in 2018-19 he batted for more than 22 hours and averaged 74.42 across four Tests in Australia to help India claim a historic series win.
So big was his performance, the 1258 balls he faced was double that of any Australian as he brought up centuries in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
By that point, Australian cricket was left wondering who their Pujara-type player was.
Pujara also batted for more than nine hours at the SCG alone in 2020-21 to deny Australia a win, before scoring a crucial half-century in their big chase in Brisbane.
India’s players had backed Pujara during the most recent World Test Championship final, however he now faces a long road back to add to his 103 Tests.
It’s also likely Australia have faced him for the last time, with India set to tour Australia in 2024-25.
INDIA TEST SQUAD: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-capt), KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Navdeep Saini.