January 25, 2022

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

Kohli has been phenomenal despite noise around him: Dravid

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, Kohli has been phenomenal despite noise around him: Dravid, The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH
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, Kohli has been phenomenal despite noise around him: Dravid, The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

JOHANNESBURG: India Test skipper Virat Kohli has been phenomenal despite “all the noise around him” and will soon be scoring big runs, head coach Rahul Dravid said on Sunday, backing the superstar batter who has been locked in a war of words with the BCCI over the way his white-ball captaincy tenure ended.
What has added to the drama is Kohli not turning up for pre-match media interactions ever since contradicting BCCI president Sourav Ganguly‘s description of the sequence of events that followed his decision to relinquish T20 captaincy and subsequent removal as ODI skipper.
“I know there’s been a lot of noise on other issues outside of the group, even leading into this particular Test match. But honestly, in terms of keeping the morale high, it’s not been very difficult because it’s been led by the skipper himself,” Dravid said on the eve of the second Test against the Proteas here.

“Virat has been absolutely phenomenal over the last 20 days that we’ve been here. The way he’s trained, the way he’s practised the way he’s connected with the group. He has been phenomenal and I could not speak more highly of him,” added the former captain.
Asked why Kohli has not addressed the media so far in the tour, Dravid said, “There is no specific reason for that. I don’t decide this but I am told he will be speaking on the eve of his 100th Test. Then you can ask all the questions on his 100th Test.”
Kohli’s 100th Test would be the third match against South Africa in Cape Town from January 11.

, Kohli has been phenomenal despite noise around him: Dravid, The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

He kicked up a storm before the tour by stating that he was never asked to reconsider leaving T20 captaincy as asserted by BCCI President Sourav Ganguly. His statement was recently met with a rebuttal from chief selector Chetan Sharma who said that Kohli was requested to hold his decision by everyone in the Board at least till the end of the T20 World Cup.
Another issue has been batting form. India lead the ongoing series 1-0 but Kohli’s inability to convert starts over the last two years and his play outside the off stump has remained the talking point.
“As coach, there’s not really too much you can do once the game starts… there’s not too much that you can control in the results…we’re really looking to prepare well and get the team into a good space,” Dravid said.

, Kohli has been phenomenal despite noise around him: Dravid, The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

“…the way he’s committed to his own preparation, his own practice. And also just the way he’s connected with the group over the last two weeks on and off the field. He has truly been a fantastic leader.
“So, that’s really helped in creating a really good space leading into the first Test match. A lot of that was led by Virat and his leadership really came to the fore. It’s been a pleasure to work with someone like him.”
Dravid sees Kohli back to scoring hundreds very soon, something he has not done in over two years.

, Kohli has been phenomenal despite noise around him: Dravid, The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

“Even personally, he’s in a really good space and even though he sort of batted well and couldn’t convert those starts, I feel there’s going to be big runs, really good scores coming in from someone like him.
“Just observing him around the group, how relaxed, how calm he has been and how he’s preparing and how switched on he is, it (big score) might not happen in the next game. I would really hope it happens in the next game.
“But I do feel with someone like him we’re going to see really big scores.”
Bubble fatigue behind Kohli and Rahane not getting starts?
Ajinkya Rahane, who is struggling to keep his place in the playing eleven, too got a start in the first Test but could not convert.
Dravid was asked if long periods in bio-bubbles could be affecting the concentration of both Kohli and Rahane.
“It could be a variety of factors. There are phases in your career where probably you feel you’re batting well, but the big scores don’t necessarily come. It happens to everyone,” Dravid said.
“…But I think the heartening point, the good point is really that they seem to be batting well. So it’s just a matter of time.”
Pujara’s form not a concern yet
Cheteshwar Pujara, who doesn’t have the range of strokes of Kohli or even Rahane for that matter, is also not able to convert starts. Dravid said he is not too concerned for now.
“I hate using the word concerned. He’s doing the best he can…he would like to score more runs as he has set really nice standards. He’s achieved a lot of success in his 10 years…
“Sometimes it doesn’t happen. And it’s not a question about being worried…But when you do get set, it’s really nice if one of your top three or top four can convert that into a big score.
“We saw the value of that in (KL) Rahul’s hundred (in the first Test),” said Dravid.
India enjoy a good record at Wanderers, having won two Tests and drawn three since 1992. Dravid could not pinpoint the exact reason for the team’s impressive record here.
“…maybe the bounce is not as much as Centurion…but it’s just a strange one. I can’t exactly put a finger on what reason,” said Dravid, who also scored his maiden hundred at the same venue back in 1997.
Bowlers’ subtle change in lengths secret to their success
Going forward, Dravid said batters need to work on their shot selection though the bowlers have been brilliant.
“I thought the last game was superb…We bowled beautiful lengths in the first innings, we were able to go slightly different lengths in the second innings depending on the wicket and the conditions. That’s really down to the skill of the bowlers.
“The bowlers are able to change the kind of lengths that they need to bowl even mid innings…You can’t just go one particular length with the red kookaburra ball and you can’t bowl the same length in the 60th over…”

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