Former Pakistan player Salman Butt hailed Indian team head coach Rahul Dravid for backing Virat Kohli ahead of the second Test against South Africa.
Since the time Kohli was removed as India’s ODI captain just after he stepped down from the T20I captaincy in November, a lot of fingers have been pointed at the BCCI.
In its defence, national chief selector Chetan Sharma reiterated the words of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly that they had requested Kohli to not step down from India’s T20I captaincy role.
I think Virat Kohli has been absolutely phenomenal: Rahul Dravid
As India are playing against South Africa and aiming to win their first Test match in the Rainbow Nation, these questions might have swirled the team’s morale incessantly.
However, Dravid said that Kohli has been phenomenal while leading the team and keeping the morale of the team high.
“I know there’s been a lot of noise on other issues a little bit, outside of the group, even leading into this Test match, but honestly, in terms of keeping the morale high, it’s not been very difficult because, to be honest, it’s been led by the skipper himself,” Dravid said on the eve of the second Test against South Africa.
“I think Virat has been absolutely phenomenal over the last sort of 20 days that we’ve been here – the way he’s trained, the way he’s practiced, the way he’s connected with the group.
I enjoyed that: Salman Butt on Rahul Dravid’s press conference
Butt appreciated Dravid’s management style of the Indian Test captain and felt that Chetan Sharma should have avoided the question to create unwarranted controversy.
“This is called man-management. This is their real work as a coach or as a manager, what Dravid did yesterday. And despite what is going around, he hailed Kohli and backed him to score big as well. I enjoyed that. He is doing a superb job.
So he got his team together. He did not join the discussion involving the chief selector or the chairman on whatever misunderstanding that might have happened. This is the type of person you want around your team,” Butt said on his YouTube channel.
“There was absolutely no need for him to bring this topic up once again because the team is playing, they won a match and is now looking to win the series. And the same guy you talked about is actually the captain of the team and the person he had a word with his presently recovering from Covid (Sourav Ganguly).
“Miscommunications happen all the time, it is not such a big deal. And when the team is winning and is in rhythm, these talks are unnecessary and to bring it back again. If someone did ask you that question, you should have moved on.
“And then there was a whole new separate topic that was brought up giving a different direction and from a relevant person. Totally unnecessary, uncalled for, not required at this stage. The discussion was over, let it go please, the team has just won a Test match,” he added.
Unfortunately, Kohli missed India’s playing XI against South Africa in the second Test owing to an upper back spasm. KL Rahul will lead the team in his absence.