Virat Kohli backed to do the business by coach Rahul Dravid

Test cricket
Virat Kohli

India coach Rahul Dravid has praised the single-minded focus of Virat Kohli as he leads the Test team in South Africa.

Kohli has been the subject of a media storm fuelled by a back and forth with the BCCI over his removal as skipper of the white-ball sides.

This has not detracted from his work as the Test skipper, though, according to Dravid.

“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 in a press conference ahead of the second Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

“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.

“As a coach, sometimes, leading into the series, you know that there’s not really too much you can do once the game starts, or there’s not too much you can control in the results.

“But what you’re really looking to do as coaches or as support staff, we’re looking to prepare well and get the team into a really good space.

“And Virat has been phenomenal in that – the way he’s led the team, he’s been absolutely, truly a leader, and I couldn’t speak more highly about him and the way he’s committed to his own preparation, his own practice, and also just the way he’s connected with the group over the last two weeks.

“As a coach, sometimes, leading into the series, you know that there’s not really too much you can do once the game starts, or there’s not too much you can control in the results.

“But what you’re really looking to do as coaches or as support staff, we’re looking to prepare well and get the team into a really good space.

“And Virat has been phenomenal in that – the way he’s led the team, he’s been absolutely, truly a leader, and I couldn’t speak more highly about him and the way he’s committed to his own preparation, his own practice, and also just the way he’s connected with the group over the last two weeks.”

The second Test between South Africa and India gets underway from the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg at 10:00 (12:00 GMT) on Monday 3 January 2022.

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