Hyderabad, Aug 22: India's Cheteshwar Pujara, who replaced Rahul Dravid in the Test squad, has said that youngsters need to try and emulate the Indian greats Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, as it would help the Indian cricket team in future.
Pujara, who was recalled for the Test series against New Zealand as Dravid's replacement, felt its time for youngsters to take more responsibilities and fill the void created by the two Indian greats.
"Not only us, all the cricket lovers will miss them. Both VVS and Dravid have set benchmarks. It's a huge inspiration for the youngsters in the side. If we can atleast try and emulate it, it would really help," he said on Tuesday.
Pujara, Suresh Raina and Subramaniam Badrinath would like to grab the opportunities and cement their berth in the team, the onus is on batsmen as VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid were the pillars of India's batting in Tests.
With a series against England and Australia coming up, Pujara's comments definitely suit youngsters as they have to take up more responsibilities to ensure that India put up a good show in the absence of the two Indian giants.
"Obviously the youngsters in the side would have to take more responsibility now. It's difficult to replace them straightway. But they have been our motivation and now it's time to live up."
Talking about the upcoming series, Pujara also felt he would like to contributea more to Indian cricket.
"I'll look to perform and contribute to India's winning cause. I know that's the outcome if I win matches for India," Pujara said.
The Saurashtra player who has played only three Test matches so far, before a knee injury forced him to stay off action for almost a year, said the break has motivated him to do well.
"It was a tough last year. One of the toughest phases ... I had to deal with my knee injury and then my father had to undergo bypass surgery," Pujara said.
"You always have to start from a scratch after an injury. The rhythm take a beating as you are out of practice for three-four months.
"But I never lost heart. I believed in myself. I knew I would make it once again. The support which I got from my father was immense," said Pujara.
Making a comeback after recovering from a knee injury, Pujara has impressed everyone with a good stint with India A, as selectors have high expectations on the Saurashtra batsman during the Test series against New Zealand stating tomorrow at Hyderabad.