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“Very difficult to compare Pujara with Rahul Dravid”, says Gautam Gambhir on tonight’s episode of ESPNcricinfo Turn and Bounce

(Verbatim comments of Gautam Gambhir, ESPNcricinfo Turn and Bounce expert panelist captured during recording the third episode of ESPNcricinfo Turn and Bounce - a weekly show which will be telecasted tonight at 8 pm on SONY SIX and SONY SIX HD channels)
Pujara’s 50th Test match and his advantage over others:
“It’s a great achievement. Someone who plays 50 test matches for a country is always a big achievement because not a lot of players have played 50 test matches. One advantage which Pujara has is that he can prepare himself to play just one format that is red ball cricket and he doesn't have to focus too much about the white ball cricket. He can be far more consistent than someone who is playing all three formats like T20, One Day and red ball cricket. The best thing that could happen to him was that he went to play county cricket, this was the best preparation he could have had before the Sri Lanka tour. Playing in difficult conditions where ball is moving a lot and then when he comes into Sri Lanka it’s a far better wicket to bat on, lesser quality of bowling attack, not too much of pace they have at their disposal so I think the one advantage he has is that he plays only one format.”

Comparison between Pujara and Rahul Dravid
“Very difficult to compare Pujara with Rahul Dravid. I think Rahul Dravid has done that for years and all over the world, whether it was in overseas condition; in India; in all the difficult conditions and against some of the quality attacks as well. So, at this moment, I don’t feel it’s the right comparison between Rahul and Pujara because Rahul used to play One Day cricket as well. Pujara doesn't play One Day cricket, but yes, he has got the temperament that he can bat for long hours and you want someone at No. 3 who can bat for long hours and who can bat time as well. It is not about getting runs, it is at times playing time as well and trying and bat as long as you can, so that rest of the batting order can play around you and that is what he has done really well. If you see the entire batting line-up there are a lot of stroke players, but someone like Pujara who can bat time and bat long can be an advantage for the entire batting unit.”

Rahane’s century and challenges of playing at No.5
“I feel he has done brilliantly at No.5. It’s a tough position to bat. In conditions like Sri Lanka so you should be able to adapt to play reverse swing and at the same time you should be able to adapt to play second new ball as well. So, this is tricky situation whether you play at No.5 or No.6. Sometimes No. 4 and No.3 get to play the semi-new ball but No.5 and No.6 has to be used to playing both, whether it’s the new ball or the old ball which starts reversing. So, he has done really well at No.5.”