Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has said that star India batter Virat Kohli is not thinking too much about his 49th ODI century, but he is currently focused on winning the 2023 World Cup for India. Kohli, who is celebrating his 35th birthday on Sunday, November 5, has so far smashed 48 ODI tons from 288 matches.
“I think Virat’s been really relaxed and as you can see in his performances, you know, batting really well for us, really keen to do well as he always is. So, look, I haven’t noticed anything different. He’s always been the same,” Dravid said at a pre-match press conference.”He’s always been professional, always been hardworking, always been switched on. So, nothing different. And no, I don’t really think he’s thinking too much about 49 and 50, and probably certainly not about his birthday getting a year older. But no, I think he’s been really focused on winning the tournament and playing some good cricket for us. I think he’s doing that really well.”
However, Virat Kohli is currently India’s highest run-getter in the 2023 World Cup. In seven innings, he has scored 442 runs which came at an average of 88.40 and a strike rate of 89.47. While Kohli and Rohit Sharma (402 runs) have led the team with the bat, Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja have contributed down the order. Dravid also stated that having two players with experience is a positive thing for the team. Jadeja, however, scored 39* off 44 against New Zealand and followed it up with 35 off 24 against Sri Lanka.
“It’s nice to have that experience of people like him [Suryakumar] and Jadeja at the back end just to be able to read that situation and play according to the situation. And that’s really important in one-day cricket. T20 cricket sometimes, you know, you just have to play in one way. One day, sometimes lower down the order you can actually… you need to be able to be smart enough of how to read a game and the situation. He’s just come in and played critical knocks. Even the last one, he was able to really give us that little bit of a flip, a nice little 30 there. Got a 40 in the two games before that, I think. And so that’s really good,” Rahul Dravid concluded.