When the famous Indian quartet of batting hung up their boots from international cricket, the question of their torch-bearers in the transition phase came across the minds of fans.
While Indian captain Virat Kohli took the path of Sachin Tendulkar as his able successor, Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was deemed to be the next Rahul Dravid.
The two batsmen’s ability to stand for long hours at the crease with a rock-solid defence, forced enthusiasts to draw comparisons. In a recent interaction, Pujara was asked about the lessons learnt by ‘The Walls Of Indian cricket.
“There have been many. He [Dravid] has always been calm, very composed. He has always lived a balanced life. There have been many qualities. I don’t need to name one,” Pujara told Arjun Pandit on Sony Ten Pit Stop.
Apart from his momentous contribution with the bat, Dravid was one of the finest slip catchers for India. Further, as the ultimate ‘Yes Man’ in the team, the Karnataka stalwart also displayed his versatility as a wicketkeeper.
“The kind of sacrifices he has made for the team. I have never kept wickets but he is someone who has kept wickets in the Indian team when there was a need in the ODI team. To do all such things for the team, it’s not easy. If you are not a regular wicketkeeper, it’s one of the most difficult things,” he added.
After being dropped on multiple occasions, Pujara finally showed his worth with his brilliant 2018 Australian tour.
Pujara demoralised the Australian bowlers by spending 30 hours and facing over 1200 deliveries, cumulatively during the four-match Test series. He scored as many as 592 runs to walk away with the ‘Man of the Series’ title.
Furthermore, the current Indian number three in Test also hailed Dravid for innovating and adapting his game, even at the fag end of his career.
“He has also tackled all such challenges over a period of time. not just in 1 format. He has played ODI cricket for such a long time. Even late in his career, he was successful in T20 format also, mostly IPL,” concluded Pujara.