Stylish batsman Cheteshwar Pujara comes with the reputation of a good Test cricketer, according to former opener Virender Sehwag, who hoped that the Indian batting mainstay improves his skills in T20 cricket and gets picked by an IPL franchise in the next season.
Labelled as a 'Test match specialist', Pujara didn't find takers in IPL for the third successive year when he went unsold at the player's auction this season.
Replying to a question which sought to draw parallels between Hashim Amla and Pujara, Sehwag said, "Amla knows how to adapt to different formats, he knows how to play in what situation. As far as Pujara is concerned, he played for us but may be the hopes we had from him he did not come up to that expectations.
"But this happens when you play only one format, it becomes difficult to play in other format. Pujara's reputation is that of a wonderful Test batsman and not T20. Hope in coming years, he will improve his skills for the shorter format and hope he gets picked by some team next year."
Pujara last took part in the IPL in 2014 where he played for the Kings XI Punjab. He has also featured for Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore but never could manage to seal his place.
Sehwag, who is the head coach of Kings XI Punjab, heaped praise on Amla, describing him as an asset.
"Amla is among top five to six batsmen in world cricket. He is an asset. He is talking to youngsters like Manan Vohra and results are coming. He is a nice person and a great player," he said.
Asked what is his advice to youngsters who want to bat like him or KXIP skipper Glenn Maxwell, Sehwag replied, "I tell them only one thing, Manan Vohra can bat like Manan Vohra and not like Virender Sehwag or Maxwell. Youngsters should know about their strengths as also their weaknesses. When you know that it becomes easy for you to bat or bowl.
"I also wanted to become Sachin Tendulkar, but I quickly realised that I cannot become like him and cannot give performance the way he did or play shots as him. I had to create my own image and I played what was natural for me. This is the advice I give the youngsters. I tell them that you can learn from other players, but you cannot copy them. Be what you are, this is what I tell them," said Sehwag, who played 104 Tests and 251 ODIs for India.