Batting great Rahul Dravid has described Cheteshwar Pujara, his successor at No 3, as an exceptional Test player, and the 43-year-old also expressed confidence that this team has the potential to succeed overseas after achieving a “settled batting line-up” by the end of the long home Test season.
Ever since his Test debut in 2010, Pujara has drawn comparisons with Dravid on temperament and technique, and the 28-year-old Saurashtra batsman is aggregating 338 runs in three Tests against England in the ongoing five-match series.
“Pujara has been exceptional at No 3 after I've left. He's batted beautifully. He's played well in this series (against England), he is a terrific Test player. I hope that we are going to see his best years ahead,” former Test captain Dravid told Times of India.
“Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin have been exceptional as well, and Virat (Kohli) is absolutely sensational. I think we've some very good talent. I'm very impressed with the batting talent we have and they are growing, developing as a team, they are figuring their way out.”
India are in the middle of a long home Test season, and Dravid said this gives the team the opportunity to achieve a settled batting line-up before overseas tours.
“It's a nice thing that they have a lot of these home Tests over the next few months and I hope that by the time India travels abroad, we will have a settled batting line up, a sort of confident successful middle order in place,” he said.
“If you have a set middle order and the guys know and are secured in their position, I think it will give us the best chance to succeed abroad too.
“It was a great thing that in my generation, we had sort of five batsmen, (Virender) Sehwag, myself, Sachin (Tendulkar), Sourav (Ganguly) and (VVS) Laxman, and even Gambhir for a while, who were settled in the line-up for a long time. I hope that by the time we tour abroad, we've a settled middle order. The potential is there to succeed in all the conditions.”
Dravid is all for day-night Tests, saying that’s the way forward.
“There's still a lot of interest in Test cricket. Both my sons follow it. Many website around the world, who show the latest scores in Tests, are doing well.
“However, if you tell your boss that you're going on leave for five days to watch a Test match, you probably won't have your job when you return to office on the sixth day! In case of day-night Tests, you can catch up on the action after work, which makes it convenient for everyone.”