The controversy about who said what and to whom, in the lead-up to Virat Kohli’s resignation as T20I captain and eventually being removed as ODI captain, has swirled unstoppably around India’s ongoing tour of South Africa. All this could have been a distraction from Kohli’s task at hand as captain of India’s Test team in South Africa, but none of it, according to head coach Rahul Dravid, has affected his preparation or his responsibility of carrying the team.
The team has been in a really good space thanks to Kohli’s maturity – 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 on the eve of the second Test 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.
“On and off the field he’s truly been a fantastic leader and a really good captain, so that’s really helped in creating a really good space. I felt we were in a really good space leading into the first Test match, and a lot of that was led by Virat and his leadership really came to the fore. It’s not been hard, it’s been a pleasure to work with someone like Virat, he’s been a phenomenal leader, and even personally I think that he’s in a really good space.”