One of the fittest athletes in the world, Virat Kohli curbed his flamboyance and displayed tremendous application and temperament on way to his 29th Test hundred during the second Test against West Indies, said India`s fielding coach T Dilip.
The 34-year-old Kohli on Friday ended his five-year-long drought for an overseas Test century as he hit a polished 121 in 206 balls in India`s commendable first innings score of 438 to equal Sir Don Bradman`s record of 29 Test tons.
He had scored his last Test hundred outside India in 2018.
“One good factor is it is his 500th match and it is a special occasion and he has continued his form from the last match. If you look at his innings, there was no flamboyant drive, he had to grind it, same as what he did in the first game,” Dilip said during the press conference after the second day`s play.
“His application was fantastic and at the same time, temperament on this wicket… there were times when the West Indies bowlers came good and he respected them. Overall, the way he paced the innings was fantastic.”
Talking about Kohli`s commitment to fitness, Dilip said: “He walks the talk. If he speaks about fitness, he will be the first person to be there.
“He has been consistently an attacking fielder on the field, mainly credit to his discipline, what he eats, how he takes care of himself.
“It has been 10 years, he is still an attacking fielder, so it rubs on to the youngsters when a person like him is running around and takes those catches and attacks the ball so well.”
While Kohli scored a century, Jadeja hit 61, his 18th Test half-century, as the duo stitched a 159-run partnership after India was reduced to 182 for 4.
Jadeja has three hundreds and 18 fifties in 66 Tests, while his spin colleague Ravichandran Ashwin has scored five Test tons and 13 half-centuries in 93 matches.
“If you look at Ashwin and Jadeja, everyone knows about their bowling performance. But of late, especially Jadeja, he has improved his batting tremendously that he is batting nearly at number six now, it is a fantastic sign for India,” Dilip said.
“Ashwin always has the temperament and application to score runs, having these two together gives us the advantage in bowling of course but also get depth in batting which we need.”
Fast bowler Mukesh Kumar became India`s 308th Test cricketer when he was handed his debut in the second match which also marks the 100th Test between India and West Indies.
“If you look back at his journey, he deserves this. Everybody looks at the IPL performance which he has recently done but he has been in the system with Ranji trophy, for 3-4 seasons he is continuously bowling,” Dilip said.
“He has gone through the system and first cricket and you can see from first over, he is hitting the line and length which shows he has enough four-day game under the belt not only with Bengal but also India A.”
(With agency inputs)