Rahul Dravid talks Virat Kohli, South Africa and more ahead of Boxing Day test
"As a coach my expectations simply are that the boys prepare well and we compete," he said.
Dravid remembered his time as a player in South Africa fondly
Dravid believes Kohli has managed to push within the team some important aspects of sportsmanship
Ahead of the boxing day test match at Centurion, Indian coach Rahul Dravid said in a video uploaded on the BCCI website that the team is prepared to take on South Africa. “We have had four good days of practice. We have trained really well on the centre wicket.”
“As a coach my expectations simply are that the boys prepare well and we compete. That is all I am expecting them to do,” he added.
Remembering fondly his time as a player in South Africa, Dravid said that South Africa is a very challenging place to play cricket but also a really exciting place to play cricket.
“I have had my first century in South Africa and won the first ever test match as a captain here. But there have also been some tough moments, some tough games… We reached the final of the 2003 World Cup here. So that’s a fond memory.”
Speaking about the possible combination options of the playing eleven - which has been under a considerable amount of speculation, “Sometimes there are challenging and difficult decisions to make… The more we play, the more depth we gain and it helps us become more competitive irrespective of the eleven we play on the day.”
According to him, “(It is) also a little bit about good communication and being clear with people about why they are playing and particularly about why they are being left out in a particular situation.”
“In spite of players getting injured, we seem to have quite a few options for people who can come in and step in and perform at the international level… It is a great sign for Indian cricket and a great position to be in,” he added.
“I was there when Virat Kohli made his debut. I was there when he played his first Test match and I batted with him in that game. It is phenomenal to see 10 years later how he has grown, obviously as a cricketer, but also as a person," he recalls.
Not just with the bat and captaincy, Dravid believes Kohli has managed to push within the team some important aspects of sportsmanship. “He has driven within this team a culture of fitness, of energy, of ambition - which has been from the outside quite fascinating to watch.”
“Now coming in, being a part of this, supporting him in doing this is something that I am looking forward to,” he said.“He is one of those players who keep evolving. He keeps pushing himself.”
Speaking of their preparation for the series, Dravid said, “I have been very happy with the kind of intensity that the boys have put in. Just the kind of mindset that I can see them in gearing up for the Test match has been really good.”
“I don’t really try to focus on the results or worry about winning or losing a series, but focus on what we can do…The preparation and intensity, the competitiveness that you can bring onto the field, that grit and that determination - if we can show that through the series then that really is my goal. That’s all I can ask for,” he concluded.