Former Australian captain Ian Chappell feels that the Indian cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara has the very similar batting style of the former Indian captain Rahul Dravid but Dravid had the finer quality.
In the ongoing Adelaide Test, Pujara played two magnificent innings for the visiting side India and that’s too in the challenging condition. In the first innings, when the other Indian batsmen struggled against the hosts’ Australian bowlers, Pujara played a very patience knock of 123 off 246 balls.
Once again in the second innings, Pujara scored 71 runs off 204 balls at the crucial time. From the very beginning of his career, Pujara was compared with Rahul Dravid for his patience batting style. Playing these two knocks and recently completing 5,000 Test runs in the same no. of Test innings (108), Pujara has been again tagged with Dravid and this time more strongly.
The former Aussie captain Ian Chappell has also admitted this fact that Dravid and Pujara both have very similar styles but Dravid had the finer quality.
Chappell wrote in his recent column for Mid-day, “There are two choices when selecting the type of number three batsman for a top-ranked Test side. There’s the instinctive counter-attacker who, despite his aggressive nature, still has the technical expertise to withstand a good spell with the new ball. The perfect example is Australia’s former batting champion Ricky Ponting.”
“If that type of player isn’t available then you need someone with the patience of a fly fisherman, a brick wall defence and the unselfish outlook that allows him to bury his ego in order to improve the chances of success for his fellow batsmen. The prototype for this type of number three is The Wall himself, India’s Rahul Dravid. Cheteshwar Pujara isn’t quite the snug fitting Armani suit that was Dravid at number three but he’s cut from the same cloth.”
Talking about Pujara’s batting quality, Chappell hugely praised the 30-year-old no.3 Test batsman, especially for his brilliant latest knocks at Adelaide Oval.
Chappell wrote, “He [Pujara] showed at Adelaide Oval the value of patience and persistence and a strong mindset. While these qualities helped him blunt the Australian attack they should also be a lesson to his more adventurous teammates. Between his dogged defiance and their desire-to-be-dominant style of batting there is an acceptable middle ground.”
On the other hand, Chappell also lauded on the Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for his brilliant improved bowling skills.
Speaking on Ashwin, Chappell wrote, “He [Ashwin] has shelved some of the variations that bedevilled him on the 2011-12 tour, causing him to leak runs like a rusty sieve. His variations are now of the subtle variety, allowing him to maintain control whilst still being on the attack. In an attritional Test match this was a luxury that allowed Virat Kohli to control Australia’s scoring rate.”
After Pujara’s century in the first innings, experienced Ashwin (3/57) brilliantly led the side to achieve a crucial 15-run lead at the end of the first innings clashes. Both have now provided their improving performances in the second innings to secure a memorable victory.
Chappell added in his column, “Pujara’s major contribution and the skill of Ravichandran Ashwin has India in with a chance to win in Adelaide. Such a confidence boosting victory would be a reminder of India’s 2003-04 achievement at the same venue when The Wall [Dravid] excelled in scoring a double century and a defiant 72 not out to ambush Australia.”