New Delhi: India's premier Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has credited former India captain Rahul Dravid for teaching him the importance of switching off from cricket and for teaching him how to keep personal and professional lives separate.
Pujara is often compared to Dravid, who was considered the 'wall' of Indian cricket. He bats at No 3, has a solid technique, is a true grafter, and often plays the role of the sheet anchor- all traits that Dravid used to possess at his peak.
"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," Pujara was quoted as saying by 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 on. Yes, I am focused, But I also know when to switch off. There is life beyond cricket."
In his great international career, Dravid scored 13288 runs in 164 Tests and 10889 runs in 344 ODIs. He also led India in 79 ODIs, winning 42 of them, which includes the world record of 14 successive wins while chasing.
Pujara also mentioned that he 'cannot describe in one line' on what Rahul Dravid means to him, adding that the former Indian captain has been an inspiration in his career - both on-and-off the field."I cannot say in one line what Rahul bhai means to me. He has always been an inspiration, and will remain one," Pujara said.
The Saurashtra cricketer's resilience and batting technique is often compared to Dravid. However, according to Pujara, despite his fascination with Dravid, he never tried to 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,'' he said.
''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 added.(UNI)