India head coach Rahul Dravid has praised Test captain Virat Kohli, saying that he has had great success wherever he has played.
He added that Kohli is one of those cricketers who is keen on evolving and keeps pushing himself. On his third tour of South Africa, Kohli will be itching to lead the Indian team to their maiden series win in the country when the three-match Test series begins from Sunday at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
"I was there when Virat Kohli made his debut. I was there when he played his first Test match and I batted with him in that particular game. It is actually phenomenal, 10 years later, to see how he has grown as a cricketer and as a person, just the kind of performances he has had for India in the last 10 years.
"The match-winning performances he has given with the bat and the way he has led the team, the successes he had and it has been terrific," said Dravid in a video uploaded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on their website.
"In a lot of ways, he has driven a culture of fitness and energy and ambition among the team, which has been fascinating to watch from the outside. Now just coming into the environment and being a part of it and supporting him is something I am looking forward to. He has always improved, constantly got better and is one of those players who just keeps evolving and keeps pushing himself.
"He has had great success wherever he has played," added Dravid. Dravid believes that having a lot of options in the Test squad is great for the growth of Indian cricket. "With the kind of options that we have, in spite of players getting injured, we seem to have quite a few options for people who can come in, step in and perform at the international level. It is a great sign for Indian cricket and great position to be in. Sometimes, there are challenging decisions to make and difficult ones as well.
"But it is a good position to be in and it's great to have that depth, especially in the amount of cricket that we are playing. The more we build and grow on that depth, it gives us an opportunity to be competitive irrespective of the eleven we play in a match. It is also a little bit about good communication and being clear with people about why they are playing and why they have been left out in a particular situation."
The 48-year-old, who took over from Ravi Shastri in November this year, has described his time at the helm as 'hectic and exciting'. "It was about getting to know the boys and studying them as early part of my coaching job has to be observing about how things are going and see what they are doing. Not necessarily trying to come in and trying to change too much straightaway. But just doing things in my own way and also getting to know rest of the support staff as it is quite new.
"Getting them to understand that how the boys function in this environment. I have had quite a lot of personal relationships with lot of them. So, that hasn't been difficult and have felt very welcomed. Really enjoyed my time so far. It's been good, it's been hectic. We have played a lot of games in the two months I have been here and travelled a bit as well. So, it's been bit hectic but exciting all the same."