Cheteshwar Pujara: This fast rising star has all the ability to be one of the hottest property in cricket.
First break: Back in 2006, when I won the Man of the Series honour after scoring close to 350 runs in the under-19 World Cup
High point of your life: My first unbeaten double century, against England last week
Low point of your life: Losing my mother at the age of 17. It was really heartbreaking
Currently doing: Playing at No.3 for India in the Test series against England
Biggest fantasies: Driving a racing car at 200 or 400 mph, hitting six sixers in one over
Cricketers you look up to.
My idols have been Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. I happened to share the dressing room with the legendary Ricky Ponting during the IPL. Punter (Ponting) likes to help young cricketers. We spoke about how to cut and pull, and he gave me tips on how to play on Australian wickets.
How do you feel about being compared to Rahul Dravid?
It is a big, big compliment. Dravid has scored more than 10,000 runs in both One Day and Test formats.
If you weren’t a cricket player, what would you would have been?
A businessman. Being a Gujarati, I like to think entrepreneurship runs in my blood. Also, I’m pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
What was it like to be born in a family of cricketers?
My father (former Ranji player Arvind Pujara), who has coached me since I was a child, has been a huge inspiration. He used to coach young players every day including Sundays.
Your biggest extravagance...
I like the idea of a staying in a well-appointed home. I also love gadgets. I have owned a BlackBerry phone and an iPad in the past and am waiting to buy the new iPhone.
Your favourite travel destination.
Cape Town in South Africa. It has the unbeatable combination of balmy weather, mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Also, Capetonians are sporty people who love the outdoors.
Your favourite Bollywood actor.
Amitabh Bachchan has been my favourite ever since I watched Sholay as a child.
What can you live in?
Jeans and T-shirts. I own close to 10 pairs of denims.
The last line of your autobiography would read...
Trust in God and be honest…
What makes your day?
A good workout and saying my prayers are an ideal beginning to my day. Also, listening to Lata Mangeshkar, particularly her bhajan O Palan Hare. It also happens to be my caller tune.
What ruins it?
If I get out early on the field. No batsman likes getting out.
Your mantra for success?
I train hard and keep a positive outlook.
You have less than a minute to pack, what do you take?
My wallet, phone and credit card.
The car you drive?
Your favourite Hollywood star?
Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean series
From HT Brunch, November 25
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch