In a press conference ahead of the second test between India and South Africa at Johannesburg, India Head Coach Rahul Dravid answered the concerns regarding India’s Middle Order. Talking about Kohli, Dravid went on to predict that he was on the cusp of turning his batting form around and be back in major contributions. Kohli has averaged 26.08 over 14 Tests since the start of 2020, with no centuries, and his two innings in the first Test in Centurion stayed true to that template: solid starts followed by a dismissal against the run of play, twice out to drives played away from the body.
I feel the big runs are around the corner for Kohli – Dravid
“Even though he batted well and couldn’t convert those starts, I really feel there’s going to be a big run of really good scores coming in from someone like him,” Dravid said, “just observing him around the group, how relaxed he’s been, how calm he’s been, how he’s preparing, and how switched on he is.
“Might not happen in the next game – I would really hope it happens in the next game – but I do feel with someone like him, we’re going to see a really big run of scores once that clicks in place, because he’s really led the way, and I couldn’t speak more highly of him. I think he’s been a real credit to himself and to Indian cricket over these last two weeks in spite of all the noise that’s been there around him.”
When asked about Cheteshwar Pujara’s recent form – he has averaged 26.21 since the start of 2020, with seven fifties and no hundreds – Dravid restated the opinion that batters could sometimes bat well in tough conditions without necessarily getting big scores.
Pujara has been successful at keeping a price on his wicket regardless of runs – Dravid
“I think he’s doing the best he can, and I do recognise that at times, certainly he would like to have scored more runs. I think someone like him sets really high standards for himself,” Dravid said. “He’s achieved a lot of success in the ten years that he’s played [Test] cricket, so he knows the highs he’s had and the kind of success he’s had, and the kind of performances or the run of scores that he’s had in the past. So obviously he would like to replicate that and he would like to keep doing that over and over again, sometimes it doesn’t happen.