Team India head coach Ravi Shastri said on Wednesday, August 22 that Virat Kohli is peerless when it comes to work ethics and the love for putting in the hard yards.
Shastri, talking to Michael Atherton for Sky Sports in his usual assertive tone after India's 203-run over England in the third Test, heaped praises on the touring side's all-round performance and talked up his captain's ability to stay in the present.
The ongoing five-Test series was dubbed as the final frontier for Kohli. The 29-year-old had miserably failed with the bat during the team's 2014 tour of the Old Blighty.
Several doubts were raised over his ability to deal with the English conditions, considering the visitors' lack of red-ball preparation in the lead-up to the Test series.
Kohli, who had been demolishing bowling attacks both at home and overseas, had signed up for a county stint with Surrey in the lead up to the ongoing tour. However, he missed warming up in the English conditions due to an injury.
Nonetheless, it is safe to say Kohli has banished the ghosts of the 2014 tour, in which he had managed just 130 runs in 10 innings.
The touring captain is leading the batting charts by a mile after three Tests with 440 runs, including two centuries.
"He [Kohli is very passionate about the game. He loves batting, he loves to do the hard yards. His work ethics are second to none. Haven't seen any cricketer — and I'll put Tendulkar in that bracket —when it comes to preparations and the way he visualises situations," Shastri said.
"The ability to stay in the present and not go too far ahead — these are great qualities. I promise you, he will forget these two innings now and take guard again as if he hadn't scored a run in the series," he added.
Shastri takes pride in India's bench strength and pace attack
Shastri also reiterated that Kohli's men want to be the best travelling side in the world. He went on to assert that the current bowling attack is India's best ever.
The head coach has the bragging rights now, given that India have pulled one back after two successive defeats. The tourists were handed a thrashing at Lord's and England were looking set to seal the series in Nottingham.
However, Team India put behind the crushing London defeat to dominate the third Test in all three departments.
Captain Kohli found support from his top-order batsmen for the first time in the series as Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara struck half-centuries. While Hardik Pandya stunned the hosts by picking up a five-for in the first innings, comeback man Jasprit Bumrah blew away the English batting order with a second-innings five-wicket haul.
"[Current bowling attack is the best] By a mile and the bench strength. If you look, the two potent fast bowlers for English conditions were Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] and Bumrah, they didn't play in the ODIs at all and in the first couple of Tests, yet to play together," Shastri said.
"Then you have Ishant and Shami bowling beautifully with Umesh waiting in the wings. I don't know what they are eating but they're surely eating something different. I am not complaining.
"It's a conscious effort from this side to be the best travelling side in the world. Not just at home. We know we thrash oppositions at home. They don't stand a chance, especially when we prepare spinning tracks.
"We want to win away from home. I think this side can be the best traveling side in the world," Shashtri said.