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Dhoni encouraged me to go for a double ton: Pujara

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Published: Monday, September 10, 2012, 10:37 [IST]
 
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Don't get complacent, Dhoni told Pujara

New Delhi, Sep 10: India's Cheteshwar Pujara has been excited about receiving congratulatory messages from Indian greats Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, said those wishes and messages mean a lot to him.

Having idolised Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman since his childhood, Pujara felt wishes from the legendary players after scoring his maiden Test century against New Zealand at Hyderabad were very special.

"I have grown up seeing their batting and when you score a hundred and get messages from these stalwarts, it really means a lot," Pujara told TOI.

Talking about their retirements, Pujara said the two stalwarts will be sorely missed by the Team as they have contributed a lot to Indian cricket.

He also remembered his Test debut, when he got a chance to see how the legends preared before a Test as they were highly focussed during their practice sessions and never missed any session.

"Players of their calibre will always be missed in the dressing room. During my debut series, I had the opportunity to see the way these two seniors used to prepare before a Test. They never missed a training session and for a newcomer like me, that was big motivation. Even today, we have Sachin Tendulkar. He is someone we all look to learn from every day," he said.

Pujara also added that his interaction with AB de Villiers, South Africa, who has been a part of the IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore, had helped him a lot in terms of batting as he could make a comeback to the national team following a successful India A tour.

"I took some tips from AB during the IPL and before travelling to the West Indies for the 'A' tour series. He has been very helpful.

Moreover, Pujara also stated that he was congratulated by his captain, MS Dhoni after scoring a maiden ton against New Zealand, and was told not to be complacent.

"During the Hyderabad Test when I scored my hundred, Dhoni came up and told me not to get complacent. He reminded me that I can go on to score a double hundred because I have done it in domestic cricket on many occasions. It was quite encouraging to hear those words from the captain," he admitted.

Though India got a comprehensive 2-0 win over New Zealand in the Test series, Pujara feels the team has to perform well consistently and would still find it difficult to face England and Australia.

"You still have to play well to beat an international side. Their bowling wasn't bad at all. They bowled in the right areas. It will be a different challenge against England and Australia. I will have to make use of the opportunity given to me by the selectors," Pujara said.

Pujara, who scored 216 runs off three innings in the Test series, at an average of 72, the Saurashtra batsman surely created an impact on his return to the Test team but feels there is a long way to go as he has just started his Test career.

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