Virat Kohli’s 500th international match – Indian coach Rahul Dravid recalls the journey

The year 2023 may hold great importance Virat Kohli, Next month he will complete 15 years in international cricket. The ODI World Cup is around the corner which will give Kohli a rare second chance to lift the trophy on home soil. When Kohli takes the field in the second Test against West Indies in Trinidad on Thursday, it will be his 500th international appearance. He may not be a part of India’s T20I plans going forward, but he remains the driving force behind the 50-over and Test teams.

Asked where he currently sees Kohli in the overall scheme of things, the coach Rahul Dravid It was nothing but praise for his senior batsman’s work ethic and enthusiasm even after 110 Tests and 15 years of international cricket.

“There is no doubt that he is a real inspiration to many players in this team, to many boys and girls in India,” Dravid said. “His numbers and stats speak for themselves, his performances – it’s all in the book. But I think the best thing for me to see firsthand is the effort and work he puts in behind the scenes when no one is watching This reflects the fact that he is going to play 500 games.

“Despite playing 500 games and being here for 12-13 years he’s still very strong, very fit, has energy and enthusiasm, it’s really fantastic. It’s not easy, it’s because of the hard work behind the scenes Is.” He has made a lot of sacrifices in his career and he wants to continue to do so. This is something that is great for a coach, you can see that a lot of young players will take notice and be inspired by it.

“You don’t have to say anything, just the way you conduct yourself, the way you handle yourself, the way you practice and your fitness, it’s a lot of things that come through the system. There is inspiration for the players. Hopefully they follow it and they get inspired to play so many games like Virat. Longevity comes with a lot of hard work, discipline, adaptability and he has shown all this. It will last for a long time. will continue.”

Dravid first played with Kohli in the IPL in 2008 for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Then they became ODI partners a year later. On the Caribbean tour in 2011, he became Test partner when Kohli got a tough start in the longest format. The game where Kohli scored his first test century Adelaide in January 2012 -Incidentally, this would be Dravid’s last.

“It’s great to see Virat’s journey,” Dravid said. “When I was playing, he was a young player. And even though I was not in the team, I watched from the outside with great admiration what he did. and what it has continued to achieve.

“And now in the last 18 months (since taking over as coach) getting to know him a bit, interacting with him, getting to know him personally as well, it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve really enjoyed it, I’ve learned a lot from him.” Learned a lot. So in a lot of ways, I’ve really enjoyed it and hope they’ve enjoyed it too.”

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