India head coach Rahul Dravid hailed Virat Kohli as an inspiration for many cricketers due to his enormous achievements and work ethic.
Kohli will join Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid, and MS Dhoni as the fourth Indian to play 500 international matches when he takes the field in the second and final Test against the West Indies, beginning at the Queen’s Park Oval on Thursday.
“His (Kohli’s) numbers and his stats speak for themselves; it’s all there in the books. He is a real inspiration to so many players within this team, without a doubt, and to so many people, boys and girls back home in India,” Dravid said on the eve of the Test.
“It’s nice to see Virat’s journey. When I first played, he was a youngster coming through. I was not really involved with the team as such. I watched him from the outside with a lot of admiration for what he has done and what he continues to achieve.” Dravid said Kohli’s longevity and achievements in all three formats were a result of “behind the scenes” sacrifices and hard work.
“I didn’t know that this was his 500th game. For me, what has been great is to see the efforts and the work that he puts in behind the scenes when no one is watching. And that’s great for a coach because a lot of young players will look to that and get inspired.”
“That has reflected in the fact that he has been able to play 500 games, is still going very strong, very fit, and the energy he brings to the game and being around for 12-13 years now, that’s truly fantastic. And it does not come easy.
“You don’t have to say anything, but just the way you conduct yourself—the way you carry yourself, the way you go about practice (sessions), the way you go about your fitness—becomes an inspiration for a lot of other young players who are coming to the system.”
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