Cheteshwar Pujara, India’s test specialist has been India’s batting mainstay when it comes to the longest format of the game. Because of his technique and approach, Cheteshwar Pujara is often compared to India’s legendary cricketer Rahul Dravid.
While being compared to Rahul Dravid is an achievement in itself, however, Pujara doesn’t think the similarities are because of his fascination with Rahul Dravid. He said:
“Despite my enchantment with him, I did not copy him. There is a similarity in our games, but that’s not because of my fascination with him,”
“That came mainly through my experiences with Saurashtra, where I learned that scoring a hundred alone isn’t enough, you have to carry your team. Yes, you could say that I subconsciously imbibed that from Rahul bhai. His influence had shaped my thought process.”
Further, Cheteshwar Pujara expressed the importance of Rahul Dravid in his cricketing career. Pujara said that he will always remain grateful to Rahul Dravid for teaching the importance of switching off from cricket and also that there’s life beyond cricket. He said:
“I cannot say in one line what Rahul bhai means to me. He has always been an inspiration, and will remain one,”
“He helped me understand the importance of switching off from cricket. I had the same thought, more or less, but when I spoke to him, it gave me a lot of clarity about it and I was sure of what I needed to do. I also saw in county cricket how they keep personal and professional lives separate. I value that advice a lot. Many people consider me to be focused on. Yes, I am focused, But I also know when to switch off. There is life beyond cricket,”
“I was lucky that I had him around when I started playing cricket. He had already gone through so many things in his journey, so he was able to tell me what I could expect, in a way. He helped me understand when I was young that it is not all about technique. As a young cricketer, you might want to focus on technique a lot, but eventually I realised — yes, you need technique, but there are other aspects as well,”