Kumble hails Kohli's professionalism

Virat Kohli (AP)
Virat Kohli (AP)

Cape Town - India coach Anil Kumble has praised the work ethic, professionalism and dedication of Test captain Virat Kohli.

The coach also lauded the approach of spin-bowling allrounder Ravichandran Ashwin, whose move up the order in the Caribbean proved a massive success.

Kumble has been impressed by Kohli's growth since they last worked together: “The last time I saw him closely was in 2012 (with Royal Challengers Bangalore).

“And from there to 2016, there has been a massive difference for the good.

“I have not seen anyone that professional in terms of looking after his fitness, his work ethic and in terms of his preparation.

“He wants to be the best and he leads from the front. He was brilliant on the (West Indies) tour.”

Kohli shared a 168-run fifth wicket partnership with Ashwin in the first Test in the Caribbean as the skipper recorded his first double hundred in any form of professional cricket.

The coach was happy to see the decision to move Ashwin up the order pay off: “There was a conscious decision from the management to push him up the order.

“Ashwin has shown in his career that he is capable of batting higher up in Test match cricket. Credit to him, he grabbed it by scoring two hundreds.

“You can’t ask for a better all-rounder in the team where he goes, gets hundreds, then picks up a five-for and wins matches.

“This home season, you want him to play all those 13 Tests and pick up tons of wickets.”

Kumble has plenty to be positive about with KL Rahul also seizing the opportunities given to him, scoring 158 after coming in for injured Murali Vijay.

Kumble said: “(Rahul) has been brilliant.

“In the West Indies, he came in as a replacement for Vijay and seized that opportunity.

“In his short career, he has shown that he can score hundreds in Australia, Sri Lanka, West Indies and what was really heartening was that he could adapt to T20 and score a hundred. “It goes to show that he has the game and he also has the mind to adjust at this young age.

“It really augurs well for Indian cricket.”

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