Bangalore, Jul 10: Lalchand Rajput, who was India 'A's coach on the recent tour to the Caribbean, has heaped praise on young batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and has said he has similar qualities to that of former India captain and one of the batting greats, Rahul Dravid.
India 'A' lost the unofficial Test series 1-2 to West Indies 'A' and later drew the three-match unofficial One Day International series 1-1 with the final match being washed out. Most of the young Indian batsmen struggled on the tour against some good pace bowling.
The team, captained by Pujara, had Rohit Sharma, Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary among other promising youngsters.
That tour was a great chance for them to press for international call ups with one slot vacant in Indian Test squad after Dravid's retirement in March.
"(Cheteshwar) Pujara is sincere and really hardworking just like (Rahul) Dravid. He wants to keep batting and work on his weaknesses. There are a lot of similarities between him and Dravid. Like Dravid, Pujara hates to give away his wicket. His positive approach and attitude will definitely take him miles," Rajput told DNA newspaper on Tuesday when asked whether Pujara is ready to replace Dravid in the Test squad.
"Since he (Pujara) had played for the country earlier and was out due to injury, he was determined and wanted to prove a point. He looked hungry to make a comeback. His application was superb, had good temperament and was technically sound. It was a very good performance and in a package. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands," Rajput added.
The 24-year-old Pujara, has already played Tests, having featured in three games. However, an injury cut short his stay at the top. He did show a lot of promise in those games.
In 64 first class games, Pujara has shown loads of patience at the batting crease. He has so far scored 4,639 runs with 14 hundreds and 21 fifties in first class cricket.