Asia Cup 2022: Not bothered about how many runs Virat Kohli makes but how he makes it, says Rahul Dravid ahead of India vs Pakistan clash

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Asia Cup 2022: Not bothered about how many runs Virat Kohli makes but how he makes it, says Rahul Dravid ahead of India vs Pakistan clash
Asia Cup 2022: Not bothered about how many runs Virat Kohli makes but how he makes it, says Rahul Dravid ahead of India vs Pakistan clash

Asia Cup 2022: Not bothered about how many runs Virat Kohli makes but how he makes it, says Rahul Dravid ahead of India vs Pakistan clash

Asia Cup 2022: Virat Kohli‘s run totals don’t concern India head coach Rahul Dravid; instead, he is more focused on the influence that Kohli’s contributions will have on the team as a whole.

For the umpteenth time, Dravid defended the former India captain, whose inconsistent play and below-average strike rate at No. 3 have drawn criticism.

“He’s (Kohli) also coming back after a break, it’s nice to see that he’s come back fresh, looking forward to playing all these games. He got time to spend in the middle. Hopefully he will kick on from here on and have a good tournament,” Dravid said ahead of the Asia Cup Super 4s game against Pakistan.

He nonetheless made the same argument that Kohli’s performance is not his main worry and asked people not to become fixated on a single player’s statistics.

“For us, it’s not really about how many runs he makes. Especially with Virat, people get a little bit obsessed with his statistics and numbers. For us, it’s really not about that,” ‘The Wall’ said.

“It’s about the contributions he makes at different phases of the game. It doesn’t have to be in 50s or 100s or a stat for us, even a small contribution makes a lot for us in T20s. He’s really keen on putting on good performances,” Dravid said.

Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: Rahul Dravid not bothered about how many runs Virat Kohli
Asia Cup 2022, India vs Pakistan: Rahul Dravid not bothered about how many runs Virat Kohli
Non-Committal on Ravindra Jadeja knee injury

Ravindra Jadeja, his star all-around spin bowler, will miss the World T20 as well as the Asia Cup because he needs knee surgery, which will keep him out indefinitely.

The head coach was mostly ambivalent about Jadeja, as he has been for other players as well.

“Jadeja obviously has injured his knee. He’s under the care of the medical team, seeing the experts. The World Cup is a fair way away. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions, rule him out or rule him in,” Dravid said in his inimitable style.

“People get injured, a lot depends on the rehab, severity of the injury. I don’t want to rule him out, make too many comments until I have a much clearer picture or better idea especially when the World Cup is six-seven weeks away now,” the head coach said, trying to keep the seriousness of injury under wraps.

Indian pacers are effective not glamorous

Pakistan’s pace batteries have acquired a lot of momentum over the years, but Dravid is content with his team, which he believes is supremely effective.

“Of course, they (Pakistan) are a very good bowling side, but we too did well to restrict them to 147. You are judged by the results you produce,” Dravid said before the clash with arch-rivals.

“I would say in numbers they would have hit 145kph, 147kph, we may have been in the 135-125kph mark, swing and or no swing but the bowling performance of our fast bowlers was also pretty good.

“I’m confident that we have a good bowling attack as well that produces results, it might not be as…” Dravid stopped, refraining from using a word.

“I wanted to use a word but I can’t use that word (here). It’s coming out of mind but I can’t use it here,” he said, leaving everyone in splits.

“It’s a four letter that starts with s, but it’s okay,” he added.

Avesh a bit under the weather

Out-of-form pacer Avesh Khan is a little under the weather and may not play on Sunday, indicated Dravid.

“Avesh is feeling under the weather, fever and stuff, doctors managing him. Hopefully it’s not serious, okay for tomorrow or later part of the tournament,” Dravid said.

Rishabh Pant is no longer first-choice keeper

Dravid claimed that there won’t be a pecking order for Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik during the T20 World Cup, making him the backup keeper.

The Rohit Sharma-led side surprised everyone by leaving out Pant in their match against Pakistan in favour of the seasoned glovesman Dinesh Karthik over the flamboyant left-hander.

“There’s no first choice wicketkeeper in the side… We play according to the conditions, situation, opposition and what we feel is the best XI.

“There’s no such a thing as first choice playing XI for every single condition. That will vary. On that day against Pakistan, we felt Dinesh was the right choice for us.

He acknowledged that it was challenging to exclude Pant, though.

“It’s very difficult to leave out anyone, but we are focused on picking the best XI. We have a little bit of squad culture in our side who believe that we have a very good squad of XV and anyone can play,” he said.