Pujara is classical, wonderful: Ted Dexter

Kolkata, Dec 3 (IANS) English cricketing great Ted Dexter just cannot stop admiring India's new Mr Consistent Cheteshwar Pujara. He describes the 24-year-old right hander as "classical" and "one of the "most correct players" he has seen for a long time.

"Pujara is wonderful, classical and one of the most correct players I have seen for a long, long time," the ex-England captain said in an interview to IANS.

The Rajkot-born Pujara authored back-to-back centuries in the first two Test matches of the current home series against England, earning plaudits from cricketing experts and drawing comparison with Mr Cool Rahul Dravid.

Dexter, who is in the city at the invitation of the Cricket Association of Bengal, said a few years back in a newspaper article he had predicted problems for Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni as careers of veterans Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar were nearing their end.

"Though Dravid and Laxman have already called time, India have got the likes of Pujara and Virat Kohli," said Dexter, whose aggressive batting was a big draw among the crowd during his 10-year international career beginning 1958.

Kohli, to Dexter, is a "wonderful strokeplayer".

But at the same time, the 77-year-old cautioned the talented youngster about his impatience. "Sometimes it happens with the strokeplayers, they get a little impatient.".

Dexter, known in his playing days for dominating the fastest of bowlers with raw fire power, doffed his hat to another scintillating Indian willower Virender Sehwag.

Asked whether his style had some similarity with the Najafgarh man, Dexter said: "No, I can't match him. He is fantastic".

"But it's true during my time, I did try to dominate the bowling. That was my mission. I am amused nowadays when I hear commentators talking about a new batsman on the ground as one who is going out to face the music from fast bowlers. I would rather make these fast bowlers face my music."

Dexter, who got 4,502 runs from 62 Test matches at an average of 47.89, also praised batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar.

"He is so steady, so controlled. It's a pleasure to watch him bat. He has his own style, and the way he times the ball, punches the ball without any big movement, that's awesome."

However, Dexter nixed in the bud any comparison of any of the modern greats like Tendulkar with Australian legend Don Bradman.

"Nobody can ever be compared with Don. Even a schoolboy knows that."

Dexter and 78-year-old former Indian cricketer Nari Contractor, the oldest surviving former captains of their respective sides, have been invited by the CAB as part of its commemoration of 80 years of India as a Test playing nation and India-England Test cricket

The duo will be felicitated at the Eden Gardens here Tuesday, before being taken round the park in golf carts on the opening day of the coming Test match.

Turning to the ongoing series, now tied 1-1 after two Tests, Dexter said: "It is evenly poised. The English may look more confident, even to know they are capable of coming from behind like the way they have. But Indians are one of the best teams in the world."

Lauding English skipper Alistair Cook and another leading bat Kevin Pietersen, he said: "It needed a very very positive response to play the Indian spinners. I don't think the Indian spin attack is weak. But in Mumbai, Cook and Pietersen... they just didn't allow them to bowl well."

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

The former England batsman will have to lead the franchise as he is out of the match against Bangalore with a finger injury. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »