I am Focused But Know When to Switch Off, There’s Life Beyond Cricket: Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara (© AFP)

Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara is hailed for his patience and concentration possessing the ability to bat for hours but he’s not obsessed with cricket and knows when to switch off.

He credits former India batsman Rahul Dravid for clearing his mind about how to separate cricket from his personal life, something he also observed while playing county cricket in England.

“He (Dravid) 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,” he told ESPNcricinfo.

“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. Yes, I am focused, But I also know when to switch off. There is life beyond cricket,” he added.

Dravid amassed 13288 runs in 164 Tests and 10889 runs in 344 ODIs. He also captained India in 79 ODIs, winning 42 of them, which includes the world record of 14 successive wins while chasing.

Pujara said Dravid he always been an influence but despite his enchantment with the batting legend, he never tried to copy him.

“I cannot say in one line what Rahul bhai means to me. He has always been an inspiration, and will remain one,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Pujara, who has 5840 runs from 77 Tests, said he attaches value to his wicket and learnt the responsibility to bat on during his junior days itself.

“That is how I learned responsibility – it is about helping my team to raise a big total, and for that I ought to attach importance to my wicket. I learned that from my junior cricket days with Saurashtra, which was a weaker team in domestic cricket,” he said.