Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar reckons that Virat Kohli values Test cricket over others because of the job satisfaction he derives from playing the ‘toughest format’. Kohli has time and again termed Test as the most ‘beautiful format’.
“He has already scored close to 7,500 Test runs, and this is a format, where he just simply gives it his all,” Bangar said on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected. “It’s not that he doesn’t value T20 or ODI cricket; he plays with equal intensity, but the job satisfaction that he derives – because this is the toughest format.
With the ICC World Test Championship adding a major context to the bilateral various series, Bangar says every team now wants to win every match eliminating dead rubbers. “And in modern times, because there are no dead rubbers, so every Test match is valued, and every team is playing for a result. This means that whatever is on offer – from a batting perspective – is always challenging for the batsman,” he said.
Kohli’s next target, Bangar reckons, will be to end his wait for a century with his last such score coming in October 2019. Since then, he hasn’t crossed three figures in any format.
“So, to excel in each and every Test match, and obviously, to get over the drought of the three-figure – which may have been playing on his (Kohli’s) mind – I think this is something that he would look ahead to. The way he has batted in the first innings (of World Test Championship) was a clear indication of the kind of touch and the kind of rhythm that he was in. So, I think it augurs well for the Indian team,” Bangar said.
Bangar thinks that the WTC final could have turned out a lot differently if rain had stayed away from Southampton.
“Yeah, definitely it could have been different,” Bangar said. “With a threat of rain looming over all the time, it doesn’t really give players the freedom to go out and play for extended amounts of time. Because obviously, there’s a break in concentration, as well as the normal wear and tear of the wicket – that it generally undergoes if it has completed 450 overs of play.”
He continued, “Those are the other challenges as well. So, from that perspective, I feel yes, it does rob away some excitement, some challenges that you would want to see in a test match.”