Rahul Dravid, the Indian head coach, was seen engaged in a discussion with Virat Kohli during a practice session leading up to the third ODI against Australia in Rajkot. While left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav bowled to Kohli, Dravid gestured towards a specific area on the pitch, sharing his insights, to which the star batter concurred.
Former international cricketers Abhishek Nayar and Amit Mishra provided their perspective on the conversation, with Nayar suggesting that the focus wasn’t solely on Kuldeep helping Kohli practice but rather on the spinner challenging the former Indian captain and helping him prepare to face Australia.
Watch Dravid and Kohli Together:
Virat Kohli and Rahul Dravid having fun together in today's practice session.— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) September 26, 2023
– The King & The Wall of World Cricket. pic.twitter.com/4rJzDxDtQJ
“Perhaps he’s speaking to Virat Kohli about the pitch that, ‘the pitch is damn and the ball is jumping off this spot, so play carefully’,” he said.”
Mishra presented a differing perspective, stating: “I think Kuldeep was asked to bowl the ball in that particular spot and he (Kohli) was asked to play it in a certain way. That’s what I think happened there. It could be about the dampness or it would be about a particular shot or a weakness.”
Following their rest during the initial two ODIs against Australia after the Asia Cup 2023, both Kohli and Kuldeep are anticipated to make an immediate entry into the starting eleven. In terms of their ODI statistics against Australia, Kohli has participated in 46 matches (second only to Sri Lanka), amassing 2,172 runs with an impressive average of 52.98.
His record comprises 11 fifties and eight centuries against the Australian team, including the remarkable 51-ball century achieved in 2013, which remains the quickest by an Indian batsman. In contrast, Kuldeep has taken the field in 19 ODIs versus Australia (equalling the highest number with West Indies). He has taken 27 wickets at an average of 38.59, featuring a memorable hat-trick at the Eden Gardens in 2017.