People are getting a little obsessed with Kohli’s stats: Dravid

India head coach Rahul Dravid says the team’s management is not worried about the number of runs Virat Kohli scores in the upcoming games but is more concerned about the impact his contributions will have on the cause widest of the team.

Kohli’s spotty form and subpar strike rate coming in at No.3 has been questioned time and time again and for the umpteenth time, but Dravid has come to the defense of the former India captain.

“He (Kohli) is also coming back after a break, it’s nice to see he’s come back fresh, looking forward to playing all these games. He’s got time to spend in the middle. Hopefully he’ll start from now and will have a good tournament,” Dravid said ahead of the Asian Cup Super Four game against Pakistan.

“For us it’s not really about the number of races he does. Especially with Virat people are a bit obsessed with his stats and numbers. For us it’s really not about that. It’s about the contributions he makes in different phases of the It doesn’t have to be in the 50s or the 100s or a statistic for us, even a small contribution does a lot for us in the T20s. really wants to perform well.

Pakistan’s rhythm drums over the years have gained traction, but Dravid is happy with his band which he says is efficient to the core. “Of course they (Pakistan) are a very good bowling team, but we too have done well to limit them to 147. You are judged on the results you produce.

“I would say in numbers they would have hit 145kph, 147kph, we might have been in the 135-125kph mark, swing and or no swing, but bowling performance of our fast bowlers were also quite good.

“I’m convinced that we also have a good bowling offense that produces results, maybe it’s not as… I wanted to use a word but I can’t use that word (here). It’s from mind but I can’t use it here. It’s four letters that start with s, but that’s okay.

Dravid, however, indicated that out-of-form pacemaker Avesh Khan is a little under the weather and could miss Sunday’s game. “Avesh is not feeling well, he has a fever etc, the doctors are managing him. Hope it’s not serious, ok for tomorrow or a later part of the tournament.”

For the T20 World Cup, Dravid said Rishabh Pant is not the first-choice keeper as there will be no pecking order for him and Dinesh Karthik. The surprise of their match against Pakistan was the omission of Pant, with the side managed by Rohit Sharma preferring Karthik’s experienced glover to the flamboyant southpaw.

“There is no first-choice wicket-keeper in the team… We play according to the conditions, the situation, the opposition and what we think is the best XI. There is no first choice playing XI for every condition. It will vary. That day against Pakistan, we thought Dinesh was the right choice for us.

But he conceded it was hard to leave out Pant. “It’s very hard to rule anyone out, but we’re focused on picking the best XI. We’ve got a bit of a team culture on our side that thinks we’ve got a really good squad of 15 and everything the world can play,” he said.

(With PTI entries)

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