There is no better man than Rahul Dravid for Virat Kohli to receive appreciations about how good a player he is and how much Kohli values Tests. Rahul Dravid was and still is one of the greatest ambassadors of the game and Test cricket was undoubtedly his strongest suit. The former Indian captain engaged in a conversation with Sanjay Manjrekar over ESPN Cricinfo and spoke on a broad spectrum of topics.
Rahul Dravid underlined the difference between the approach required for T20 and Test cricket. Dravid believes that in Test cricket, a batsman needs to stay on track for the entire time and cannot survive with a glaring weakness. One the other hand, batsmen can get away with some stuff in the shortest format of the game.
Coming to Virat Kohli’s commitment to Test cricket, Dravid is in awe of the same. Dravid feels that it is in Kohli’s mind that the real respect that he earns is by excelling in the whites for India and that it is a great example for the upcoming cricketers. As a captain, the 31-year old kept the Indian side at the top of the Test rankings for more than three years. The 45-year old called for the wickets to keep getting a bit more favourable for the bowlers to keep the game exciting.
“Going forward we want to see more runs scored, people are playing more shots even in Test cricket which is fantastic. One of the great things for India is that Virat Kohli values Test cricket. He is always talking about it,” Rahul Dravid said.
“I think he understands that the real respect for him as a cricketer will come through his success in Test cricket and I think that’s a great role model for our young cricketers. I would like to see wickets keep getting challenging, a good balance between bat and ball and I think people will get excited by seeing that,” he said.
Rahul Dravid lauds Virat Kohli’s energy, intensity, and the willingness to succeed:
The 45-year old went on to say that the Indian captain doesn’t shy away from pushing himself an extra mile, and the same attitude helps them survive torrid times. He believes that for Kohli to succeed in all three formats equally well is something extraordinary.
Dravid also praised the former Australian captain Steven Smith for his work ethics. Smith sits at the top of ICC Test rankings for batsmen currently.
“There are some players like Virat who have shown that one can excel in all three formats of the game too but it takes special ability to do so. Things to learn from Virat is the intensity that he brings to practice and his ability to challenge himself. Intensity will help you survive difficult spells and you need to bring that into practice. I have watched Smith as well and he has tremendous work ethics too,” he maintained.