Taking into account the success of Virat Kohli led Indian Test team in recent times, former skipper Sourav Ganguly has said that the current lot of players have it in them to turn things around in their overseas assignments next year.
With 1-0 series win against Sri Lanka, Team India registered their 9th consecutive Test series victories under Kohli and thereby equalled Australia’s legendary skipper Ricky Ponting’s feat of most consecutive Test series win as a captain. However, Ganguly feels that Virat’s credentials as a leader will be tested once India start visiting countries like South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand.
"Best in the world and history in Australia, during our era and the West Indies in our time. We have nine series win, out which I think seven in India so, they have to go away and do well," Ganguly told India Today.
"I believe they have got the capability under Virat's leadership, who I think is a fantastic cricketer and a good leader. Under his leadership, they have got the capability but they haven't gone to England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand under his leadership so I think it's not even close to being judged on their capabilities. I wish them all the best when they travel to South Africa and as I said, I believe they can win there and they can put up a good performance.
"It's too early to say, you only say after they have completed the entire circle of home and away. They have just done the home bit, I think 90 per cent of cricket they played in those nine series wins was at home and then they go away now for the remaining about 15 Test matches on the trot away. So if they can do well, yes why not," he added.
After enjoying a fabulous home season, Virat Kohli’s troops will now head off to South Africa, where they will play a three-match Test series from January 5 at Newlands, Cape Town. India now have a chance to make 10 in a row, however, what sounds difficult is – no Indian side has ever won a Test series on the South African soil.
"I just get a feeling that the captain wants a team who can win abroad. Virat Kohli's legacy will be what he does in the next 12 months in South Africa, England and Australia and then in the World Cup in 2019,” Dada remarked.
"Of course, That 21 number will come, may be next series or the one after. He is going to captain India for a while, he is going to play for a while so that is going to come at some stage,” he further said.
"What will be important for Virat is not just numbers but the legacy. When you judge captain, how good they are, whether they are greats or all-time greats, it's also about the legacy and about what they do. As I said 15 Test matches to follow, if he does well, wins a series away and does well in England, South Africa and Australia, he will be hailed as one of the greats," concluded Ganguly, who had led India to 20 wins from 49 Tests as captain.
India tour of South Africa itinerary:
January 5 – January 9, 1st Test – Newlands, Cape Town
January 13 – January 17, 2nd Test – SuperSport Park, Centurion
January 24 – January 28, 3rd Test – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
February 1, 1st ODI – Kingsmead, Durban
February 4, 2nd ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
February 7, 3rd ODI – Newlands, Cape Town
February 10, 4th ODI – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
February 13, 5th ODI – St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
February 16, 6th ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
February 18, 1st T20I – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
February 21, 2nd T20I – SuperSport Park, Centurion
February 24, 3rd T20I – Newlands, Cape Town