Cheteshwar Pujara the new 'wall' of India, says Lalchand Rajput

Lalchand Rajput believes Cheteshwar Pujara has the kind of temperament and technique that Rahul Dravid possessed AFP

By Aayush Puthran

Mumbai: Aug 26, 2012

Former India opener Lalchand Rajput on Sunday said that Cheteshwar Pujara has proved to be an ideal replacement for Rahul Dravid.

“Pujara has the kind of temperament and technique that Rahul Dravid had. He has proved to be an ideal replacement for Dravid,” he said

Rajput believes Pujara is the new “wall” of Indian cricket following Pujara s 159 against New Zealand in the first test at Hyderabad.

“The new wall has come again. He has grabbed the opportunity with both hands and I m sure he will be there to serve the country for a long time,” Rajput said.

Rajput also believes that Suresh Raina should be given a longer rope despite his poor performance in the first Test. Raina scored three runs in the only innings he played in the match.

“It is unfair for any batsman to be dropped after one poor performance. You cannot drop a player after one poor performance. You pick a player in the team because you believe he has got some potential. He should be given at least three to four innings before you chose to look for someone else.”

However the former opener believes that Raina can t take his position too lightly in the team as others are pushing for the slot.

“There are other contenders who are doing well to deserve that spot like Subramanium Badrinath and Ajinkya Rahane. They are pushing Raina hard for the place in the team,” Rajput said.

Rajput was also impressed by Man of the Match Ravichandran Ashwin s 12-wicket haul performance.

“Ashwin did a fine job. He has been doing well in the opportunities he has got. Additionally, a spinner who is able to bat well at the lower order helps the team to have a proper balance,” he said.

Rajput also believes that Pragyan Ojha has combined well with Ashwin.

“India s spin department is well settled with Ojha doing well in tandem with Ashwin. An off-spinner and a left-arm spinner adds variety to the bowling too. Chawla is a good leg-spinner, who has performed well, waiting in the wings.”

Speaking about Harbhajan Singh s Test future, Rajput believes it is far from over.

“Harbhajan is an experienced campaigner. Although other spinners are performing well, he can stake a claim in the Test side with a good show in the Twenty20 World Cup. Cricket is a funny game,” he concluded.