New Delhi [India], June 27 (ANI): India middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara heaped praises on former batsman Rahul Dravid and said he is an "inspiration" who understand player's psychology very well.
Dravid has been heading the operations at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) Bengaluru and devoting his time to the next generation of cricketers.
"The best part about Rahul bhai has been that he understands a player's psychology. I was lucky that I had him around when I started playing cricket. He had already gone through so many things in his journey, so he was able to tell me what I could expect, in a way," ESPNcricinfo quoted Pujara as saying.
The 32-year-old is widely regarded as the successor of Dravid due to his similar batting style and scoring runs in difficult situations.
In his illustrious international career, Dravid amassed 13288 runs in 164 Tests and 10889 runs in 344 ODIs. He also captained India in 79 ODIs, winning 42 of them, which includes the world record of 14 successive wins while chasing.
"He helped me understand when I was young that it is not all about technique. As a young cricketer you might want to focus on technique a lot, but eventually I realised - yes, you need technique, but there are other aspects as well," the right-handed batsman said.
Pujara, who has played 77 Tests and scored 5840 runs with an average of 48.66, thanked Dravid for his guidance on how to switch off from the cricket.
He has smashed 18 tons and 25 fifties in the longest format of the game. He has played five ODIs so far for Men in Blue.
"There is one other thing I will be thankful to him for. He helped me understand the importance of switching off from cricket. I had the same thought, more or less, but when I spoke to him, it gave me a lot of clarity about it and I was sure of what I needed to do. I also saw in county cricket how they keep personal and professional lives separate. I value that advice a lot. Many people consider me to be focused. Yes, I am focused, But I also know when to switch off. There is life beyond cricket," he said.
"I cannot say in one line what Rahul bhai means to me. He has always been an inspiration, and will remain one," Pujara added.
According to the current playing schedule of the Indian team, Pujara will be seen in action against Australia in the four-match Test series later this year. (ANI)