Former India captain and current head coach Rahul Dravid is not too worried about the fact that Virat Kohli hasn't scored a hundred in any format since November 2019. Dravid, in fact, said he wants to ' match-winning contributions' from Kohli be it a '50 or a 60.' Dravid's comments came when India are gearing up for the fifth and final Test against England starting at Edgbaston on July 1 with the possibility to pulling off a series win on English soil for the first time since 2007. Incidentally, it was Dravid who was the captain of the Indian side back then. Dravid gave example of Kohli's 79-run innings earlier this year in Cape Town against South Africa under difficult circumstances to stress the former India captain's value in the side.
"It's not always focussing on those three figures like even a 70-odd (79) in a difficult situation in Cape Town (vs SA) was a good innings. Didn't convert into a three-figure, but it was a good score."Obviously, the standards that he has set, people only see hundreds as a success but for me, from a coaches' perspective, we want contributions from him -- match-winning contributions, whether it is a 50 or a 60," Dravid said on Wednesday.
There are question marks on Rohit Sharma's availability for the fifth Test due to Covid-19 concerns which is likely to put more pressure on Kohli. Dravid believes Kohli is fully motivated and raring to go. "As players, you go through these phases and I don't think you need motivation to be very honest with you and I think in Virat's case it has nothing to do with lack of motivation or desire.
For Dravid, Kohli, who is nearing 34, isn't on the wrong side of 30 as many would like to believe.
"In my opinion, he is on the right side of 30 and he is an incredibly fit guy. He is one of the most hard working guys that I have come across and his desire and hunger and whole attitude of looking after himself," he said.
In whatever little red-ball game time India got in the four-day unofficial warm-up match against Leicestershire, Kohli looked in good touch, scoring 33 and 67.
"And his preparation, even the way he batted at Leicester, batting in those conditions and scoring the 50s and 60s, keen on playing against our bowlers, batting against Bumrah and all these guys. He is ticking all the right boxes and doing everything he needs to do to come out of it," Dravid said.