Former India captain Rahul Dravid said that Cheteshwar Pujara has got in him to succeed in the One Day International format. Despite making his intentions clear and scoring tons of runs in domestic and Test cricket, Pujara has been sidelined from the ODI team for unknown reasons.
IBN Live quoted Dravid as saying, “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.”
Dravid was quick to point out how Pujara’s batting style in Tests indicates that he can adapt to the shorter format.
“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.
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The 41-year-old believes that even though he did not get playing time in Asia Cup, he would surely get opportunities to prove himself in 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,” opined Dravid.
Regarding Ravichandran Ashwin‘s dismal overseas performances, Dravid mentioned: ”We have to be a little more patient with him and give him that freedom and scope and judge him when given enough opportunities. We should judge our guys in a fair manner and judge them on standards and set tough standards for them. But also give them a fair-enough run and not on the odd matches here and there. It becomes extremely difficult to judge bowlers on that."
“These couple of tours (England and Australia) are going to be important for him as well. He has got a bit of experience in international cricket, but he has not played a lot in overseas conditions. He has played only three or four matches.”
Anil Kumble had earlier suggested that India should always go in with two spin bowlers in overseas Test matches. When asked about his opinion on that, Dravid said: ”I would like to believe that should go into overseas series looking to play five bowlers. We should go with five bowlers with Jadeja batting at 7. He is batting a lot better." “It’s just a fact that we were not able to finish off two games. We got ourselves into positions to be able to win two games (one Test each in South Africa and New Zealand) and we didn’t."
“Ideal scenario for me would be to somehow find a way to play five bowlers, because it will give you a chance to win. Going with two and two can sometimes be risky especially on the wickets we play on. Every time we go abroad, teams are giving us green wickets. In that kind of scenario, when you are forced to bowl first, it can be tough.”