Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s coach Rajkumar Sharma has stated that the 32-year-old is extremely motivated despite a dip in form of late. Kohli has been very involved with the team and although his personal form is a concern, he hasn’t let it affect the team.
At the start of the series, the talismanic batsman was ranked fourth in ICC Test rankings. However, England’s captain Joe Root has overtaken the skipper since, and even opener Rohit Sharma looks set to topple Kohli from the top 5 spots. This came as a ‘shock’ to Rajkumar Sharma but he was unfazed claiming a century is on the cards.
“It is shocking news for me that Virat Kohli has fallen to the fifth spot. I wasn’t expecting that Joe Root would have probably gone ahead of him. I will definitely talk to him. I don’t feel there is any need to motivate him because he is extremely motivated.”
“When I had spoken to him after the last match as well, he was quite excited and was happy that they had won and was not too worried about his runs. When he has such an attitude, a big hundred is about to come,” he expressed.
“I would say it is a challenge for Virat Kohli to chase Joe Root” – Rajkumar Sharma
Rajkumar Sharma was full of praise for 30-year-old Joe Root. Despite his team drastically underperforming, Root has kept England alive in the series and is the top scorer for his side with 386 runs.
“He [Root] has batted fantastically. I have always said that that he is an amazing player because he has a very good temperament and technique in any case. When he plays on his home ground and especially against India, I feel he is extremely motivated.”
Considering the lean patch Kohli is going through, it will be hard for him to catch up with Root who has already stacked up over a thousand runs in the calendar year. However, having worked with Kohli closely, Rajkumar feels the skipper loves challenges and will fight back hard in the coming matches.
“I would say it is a challenge for Virat to chase Joe Root. I have full hope because I have known Virat from his childhood, he loves challenges. So it is a good challenge and we will see a good contest in the upcoming matches,” Rajkumar added.
The third Test between the two sides will begin on August 25 at the Headingley, Leeds.