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Rahul Dravid backs Cheteshwar Pujara to shine in ODIs

Cheteshwar Pujara 2-1
Cheteshwar Pujara sat out for all the games in Asia Cup 2014 © PTI

Mumbai: Mar 14, 2014

Rahul Dravid backed Cheteshwar Pujara, who replaced him at number three in Indian Test team batting order, to come good in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) like he did in his career.

“Speaking from my own personal experience and as someone who was being seen [basically] as a Test player, Pujara can certainly make a mark in one-day cricket. I was able to develop and build my game for one-day cricket, [which] I played successfully for quite a long time. I have no doubt that Pujara has the ability and the skill to do that,” said Dravid at a promotional event for ‘Gillette’

Dravid was referring to his early struggles with the limited overs format and then his evolution as a batsman-keeper that helped him cement a place in the ODI team.

“I don’t see any reason he [Pujara] cannot succeed in one-day cricket with the way he bats in Test matches, the way he rotates the strike, the kind of shots he plays all round the wicket and he scores runs at a pretty decent rate in Test cricket. I don’t have a doubt he will do well in one day cricket,” said Dravid.

The 41-year-old retired batting stalwart said though Pujara has not been able to force his way into the playing eleven after being inducted into the Asia Cup squad, he will get his chances in the near future.

“I am happy to see he has got into the Indian one-day squad. At the moment and obviously with the number of young players in Indian team he is not able to get enough playing time. Hopefully, that will come. There are tours of England and Australia coming up and someone like him will get a little more playing time to prove himself and do well.

“Obviously, he is fighting in a crammed middle order at the moment. That is the challenge for him. Just hopefully he can get opportunities as and when possible and make the best of them. And if he does then I feel he has a role for India,” said Dravid.

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