Team India head coach Rahul Dravid feels that there is nothing to be concerned about Virat Kohli’s form. The former skipper has been well below his exceptional standard and his output with the bat was a constant topic of debate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 campaign.
Kohli’s weakness outside the off stump, especially against the moving ball, was once again exposed in the 2021 leg of the England tour. However, the 33-year-old still managed to score 218 runs in the series at an average of 31.14. Ahead of the upcoming Test against England in Birmingham, he looked in good touch during the warm-up contest against Leicestershire.
Stating that Virat Kohli is on the right path with his preparation and mindset, Dravid said in a press conference ahead of the first Test:
“He’s not on the wrong side of his 30s. He’s an incredibly fit guy, and one of the most hard-working guys I’ve come across. His desire, his hunger and his whole attitude, looking after himself and his preparations, even the way he batted in Leicester in those conditions, scoring the kind of 50s and 60s. He is ticking all the right boxes, he is doing what he needs to do,”
The expectations are sky-high from Kohli, considering that he last scored a century close to three years ago. He was not part of the home series against South Africa and reportedly suffered from COVID-19 while holidaying in the Maldives.
Despite not making a hundred, the right-handed batter has made significant contributions in Test cricket with crucial fifties. Dravid continues to expect such inputs from the ace player and is not concerned about the landmark figure. The head coach said:
“As a player, you go through these kinds of phases. I don’t think in Virat’s case, it is lack of motivation or desire. It’s not about scoring three figures, even a 70 on a difficult pitch is worth appreciation. In Cape Town, he didn’t convert it into a century, but it was a good score,”
“Going by the standards he has set for himself, people only see hundreds as a success. But from a coach’s perspective, we want contributions from him, whether it’s a 50 or a 60,”
India will take on England in the rescheduled fifth Test in Edgbaston, Birmingham from July 1 (Friday) onwards.
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