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Pujara can definitely make a mark in ODIs, says Dravid

March 15, 2014 10:48 IST

Pujara can definitely make a mark in ODIs, says Dravid

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Harish Kotian

'I don’t see any reason why he cannot succeed in One-Day cricket.'

'It is not only about hitting sixes; he scores runs at a pretty decent click even in Test cricket,’ says former India captain about Cheteshwar Pujara. Harish Kotian reports. 

Former India captain Rahul Dravid can feel the pain Cheteshwar Pujara is going through. The batting icon also had a tough time proving he was good enough for One-Day Internationals after being categorised as a Test specialist in the early part of his career.

"I think someone like Pujara can definitely make a mark in ODI cricket, and I speak from my own personal experiences of being someone who was sort of seen as a Test player and was able to develop and build my game to suit the One-Day format and play consistently and successfully for a long time.

"I have no doubt Pujara has the ability and the skill to be able to do that," Dravid said, in Mumbai on Friday.
 
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Image: Cheteshwar Pujara
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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'I have no doubt that he will do well'

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Harish Kotian

Dravid scored 10,889 runs in 344 ODIs, at an average of 39, and strike rate of 71, and was part of three World Cup squads, in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

He believes Pujara has all the requisites to be a top ODI player.

With India playing in tough conditions like England and Australia later in this year, he is sure the Saurashtra batsman will get his chance on pitches not easy for batsmen.

"It is nice to see him get into the ODI squad, which is a really good thing. At the moment, with the number of young players in the squad he is probably not able to get enough playing eleven time, but, hopefully, that will come with the tours of England and Australia coming up.

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Image: Cheteshwar Pujara
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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'Rotating the strike'

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Harish Kotian

"He will get a little more playing time and will actually get the opportunity to prove himself and do well. I have no doubt he has the skill, but we all need to develop our skill and keep working on our skills. I don’t see any reason why he cannot succeed in One-Day cricket.

"When I see him bat in Tests and the way he rotates the strike, the kind of shots he hits, he has got shots all round the wicket. It is not only about hitting sixes; he scores runs at a pretty decent click even in Test cricket. So I have no doubt that he will do well. He is obviously fighting in a pretty cramped middle order at the moment. That is the challenge for him.

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Image: Cheteshwar Pujara
Photographs: BCCI
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'In the end, I think, Pujara will be judged on his batting'

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Harish Kotian

Hopefully, he can get the opportunities as and when possible and make the best of them. If he does, he will have a role in One-Day cricket,” he added.

Dravid also believes that Pujara does not need to work on his bowling to force his way into the ODI squad.

"In the end, I think, he will be judged on his batting. I have never seen Pujara bowl; I don’t know how good his bowling is. Having an extra strength goes nice, but I don’t think it is critical. I kept wickets only for a very short period in my career. I rate my off-spin quite high.

"I did get Saeed Anwar out, so I am a pretty good off-spinner. I didn’t need another skill. If you are a good enough player to get into the top five as a batsman, then you don’t necessarily need another skill. If you can bowl that is nice, but I don’t think that should be a paramount," he said.


Image: Cheteshwar Pujara
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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