Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin revealed his conversation with Virat Kohli after the third Test in Indore in the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Speaking to the broadcasters on the fifth day of the fourth Test in Ahmedabad Ashwin said, “Personally, Virat and I had a conversation after the Indore Test. Not that we both connect too often on such lines but I just personally felt that Virat was batting well.”
“He was getting time and was probably just getting out after getting starts, in the 30s and 40s. It was just about putting your hands around the shoulder and telling the person that you are batting brilliantly, just need to hang in there and things are going to turn around. It has turned for me in my cricketing career as well so, I felt a big knock (from Kohli) was around the corner,” he added.
Kohli scored a brilliant 186 run-knock at the Narendra Modi stadium breaking his three-year century drought. However, Kohli has been recently in blistering form in white-ball cricket. He scored two tons against Sri Lanka in the three-match ODI series.
The off-spinner said, “Even in the ODI series before this, Virat played some wonderful knocks. He is batting well. It is a question of having him and Pujji batting well together which gives us a lot of advantage. One can eat up the balls while the other has a real presence.”
The Indian top order has been struggling for a while. However, the side has been bailed out many times from the heroics of Ashwin himself and Axar in recent times.
Speaking of which Ashwin said, “After playing for so many years I know that runs on board are really important and these two players are our top Test batsmen. Our runs are running come from there so I would do anything to sit and watch them bat all day.”
The final Test ended up in a draw ending the series 2-1. India will meet Australia in the final of the World Test Championship in July later this year.
After having registered a convincing Test series win and booking the World Test Championship final berth, the action now shifts to ODI format. India and Australia will play a 3-match ODi series from Friday, March 17. Most of the main protagonists of the Test series win, including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, will be in action in the ODI series, which will be India’s last assignment before the start of IPL 2023.
All eyes will be on Virat Kohli as the star batter will look to continue from where he left in the 4th and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Ahmedabad. After having scored a drought-ending Test century and making it a big score (186), Kohli will be keen on continuing his good run of form.
Before the Test series, Kohli was in fine form in the ODIs, hitting two hundreds in 3 matches against Sri Lanka at the start of the New Year. However, he had an indifferent series against New Zealand wherein he managed scores of 8, 11, and 36. Nonetheless, the confidence of having scored a Test hundred will keep Kohli in a good head space in the ODI series.
Virat Kohli is eyeing major milestones in the 3-match series which will be played in Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Chennai. The former captain is 191 runs away from becoming the 5th batter to complete 13,000 runs in ODI cricket after Sachin Tendulkar (18426), Kumar Sangakkara (14,234), Ricky Ponting (13,704), and Sanath Jayasuriya (13,430).
Virat Kohli is also 3 hundreds away from equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s world record of most ODI hundreds (49). Notably, Kohli has hit 3 hundreds in a span of the last 4 months after having ended his long wait for the ODI century in Bangladesh last December.
Meanwhile, Kohli also looks to overtake Ricky Ponting in the list of batters with most runs at home in ODI cricket. He is currently third on the list behind Sachin Tendulkar and Ponting.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will also be involved in a battle for supremacy against Australia in an intriguing sub-plot. Both the batters have r8 hundreds each against Australia in ODI cricket and need one more to equal Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most hundreds in India vs Australia ODI
Rohit Sharma, who hit a match-winning century in the Nagpur Test, will be unavailable for the first ODI in Mumbai due to personal commitments. In his absence, Hardik Pandya will lead the side in the series opener.