safari staff
03 Sep 2022 | 05:04 PM

People get little bit obsessed with Kohli's statistics: Dravid

The Indian coach is more concerned about how much impact his contributions make to the larger cause of the team

Indian head coach Rahul Dravid said that the team management is not worried about how many runs Virat Kohli scores in the coming games but is more concerned about how much impact his contributions make to the larger cause of the team.

Kohli's patchy form and a below-par strike rate coming in at No. 3 has been questioned time and again and for the umpteenth time, but Dravid came to the former India captain's defence.

"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 Four game against Pakistan.

"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. 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."

Pakistan's pace batteries over the years have gained a lot of traction but Dravid is happy with his bunch which he feels is effective to the core. "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.

"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... 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. It's a four letter that starts with s, but it's okay."

Dravid, however, did indicate that out-of-form pacer Avesh Khan is a bit under the weather and could miss Sunday's game. "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."

For the T20 World Cup, Dravid said that Rishabh Pant isn't the first-choice keeper as there won't be any pecking order for him and Dinesh Karthik. The surprise package in their match against Pakistan was the omission of Pant as the Rohit Sharma-led side preferred the experienced glovesman in Karthik ahead of 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 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.

But he conceded that it was difficult to leave out Pant. "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 15 and anyone can play," he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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