Pakistan wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan has praised Cheteshwar Pujara's quality, saying that Indian batters' "concentration and focus are unreal" and he took few batting tips from the senior pro during their stint together in County cricket.
The duo of Pujara and Rizwan are currently playing together for Sussex in Division Two of the County Championship. The 34-year old Pujara has been in sensational scoring touch, aggregating 717 runs in four matches at an average of 143.40, with four centuries. The pair have also enjoyed a fruitful partnership of 154-runs together in a match against Durham in April.
Rizwan has been left impressed in particular by Pujara's powers of concentration and his ability to construct a long innings. He ranks Pujara alongside his compatriots Younis Khan and Fawad Alam.
"In my life, the player with the highest levels of concentration and focus I have seen is Younis bhai. So No.1 is Younis bhai. After that, it was Fawad Alam but now Pujara is No.2 and Fawad Alam No.3," Rizwan told cricwick.net
The Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter also revealed the batting tips he picked up from Pujara, especially how to play close to his body.
"With Pujara, I had a chat when I had just come to England and got out a couple of times. He told me a few things, that you should play close to your body. Now it is no secret that we play a lot of white-ball cricket and there we play well away from the body because the white-ball doesn't swing or seam much and you are always looking for runs," he said.
"So here, I got out chasing a couple of wide deliveries early on. Then I sought him out at the nets and he said, 'in Pakistan or in Asia, we are accustomed to forcing our drives. You cannot force your drives over here. Secondly, you have to play closer to your body'," he further elaborated.
The 29-year old Rizwan also stated that it wasn't strange for him to play with Pujara and that the pair had established a good rapport on and off the field.
"Believe me, I haven't felt strange at all about it. I even joke around with him and also tease him a lot. He is a very nice person and his concentration and focus are unreal. If you can learn something from someone else, you must take that opportunity," he said.