“He Walks The Talk When…”: India Fielding Coach On What Makes Virat Kohli Special

India’s fielding coach T Dilip praised former captain Virat Kohli’s fitness levels after the batter reached 121 on the Day 2 of the ongoing second Test against West Indies here at Queen’s Park Oval. Playing in his 500th international match, Virat Kohli scored his first overseas century since 2018 for India. Kohli, who resumed on 87 on day two of the second Test match against West Indies, completed a flawless hundred to take his tally of Test hundreds on par with Sir Donald Bradman.

Kohli made 121 off 206 balls that also included 11 boundaries.

Dilip said that Kohli continues to set the bar high when it comes to fielding and fitness, and the juniors are benefiting from his example.

“He walks the talk when it comes to fitness,” Dilip in a post-match press conference.

“It mainly comes down to his discipline and how he takes care of himself. It has been 10 years and he is the most attacking fielder. It rubs off well on the youngsters. Everybody looks up to him – not just our team, but everybody in the world – A person like him, running around and attacking the ball so well,” he added.

The India fielding coach thinks that the batter has carried on from where he left off in the first game. When Kohli attempted to get a single off his own shot and was run out by Alzarri Joseph’s throw from square leg, he was eventually dismissed for 121 runs off 206 balls.

“A good part of a player is how consistently he scores. He has continued his form from the last match into this,” Dilip said.

“He did not start off with flamboyant drives right away. He had to grind as he did in the first game. His application was fantastic, at the same time his temperament on that wicket…there were spells where the West Indies bowlers came good and he respected them. When he had to capitalise, he did that. Overall, the way he paced his innings was fantastic,” Dilip said.

Dilip is optimistic that the surface will become a little more forgiving so that Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja can work their magic with the ball. He is happy, though, with how they have demonstrated their bat-handling abilities, which has further increased the team’s depth.

“If you look at Ashwin and Jadeja, everybody around the world knows them for their bowling performances. But if you see of late, especially Jadeja, he has improved his batting tremendously that he is batting at No. 6 now,” Dilip said.

“That’s a fantastic sign for India because it gives a great combination. Ashwin always has that temperament and the application to score runs. Having these two together not just gives us advantage with the bowling, but also with the batting,” India’s batting coach added.

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