People only see hundreds as success but we want match winning contribution from Virat Kohli: Rahul Dravid

Virat Kohli has set an entirely different benchmark with his 70 international hundreds, but Rahul Dravid, from a coach’s perspective, wants his best batsman to make a “match-winning contribution”, even if it is not a three-figure mark. Yes, as it has happened in the last few years.

Kohli hasn’t scored an international century since November 2019, but Dravid rubbished the notion that owning 27 Test centuries “lacks motivation”.

Dravid said, “As players you go through these phases and I don’t think you need motivation to be honest with yourself and I think in Virat’s case it has to do with lack of motivation or desire- Do not give.” The Test against England starts here on Friday.

“It doesn’t always focus on those three figures like 70 (79) in a difficult situation in Cape Town (vs South Africa) was also a good innings. Didn’t turn into a three-figure, but it was a decent score.

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“And his preparation, even the way he batted in Leicester, batted in those conditions and in the 50s and 60s, to play against our bowlers, bat against Bumrah and all these guys were looking forward to. He is ticking all the right boxes and doing everything he needs to do to come out of this,” Dravid said in a confident tone.

Six captains in 7 months is not something I imagined

Since Dravid first took the team to Sri Lanka, he had Shikhar Dhawan as captain and then he also had Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and now Jasprit Bumrah as captain.

So six captains in three formats in a span of seven months is not an ideal situation.

“It is what it is. When I took this job, I couldn’t even have predicted that we would have so many captains in six or seven months, but it can happen in a time when we are living in COVID-19 There are unfortunate injuries to people, what happened to Rahul (groin injury) and now Rohit in the last 3 weeks,” Dravid insisted.

“Sometimes, we have to balance the workload and just react to it, it’s not something I wanted when I started, not something you imagine when you start.” But when they arise, you react and deal with them.

“… Irrespective of the number of captains we have, we have played very good cricket in the last six to eight months. We have put our contingency plans in place and communication is clear and everyone within the group knows what we are going to do if a situation arises.”

Signs that priests can open

Dravid didn’t want to give it a go, but said that if the situation warrants, number three could be called for the opening, which means Cheteshwar Pujara could be seen batting alongside Shubman Gill.

“Any such decision is taken in consultation with the player. As a player, not every situation is as expected and at times it may happen that opening at number three has to be done.

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