India’s forthcoming South Africa trip will certainly be a challenging one as the current No. 1 Test team have never won a Test series in the rainbow nation. However, prior to the series India skipper Virat Kohli has made it clear that his troops will take the series as any other one and will not put any additional pressure on themselves.
Kohli, who recently led India to 9 consecutive Test series wins, also asserted that Team India have got nothing to prove to anyone. India will take on South Africa in a three-match Test series from January 5 at Newlands, Cape Town.
"We have got rid of all the mental pressures of touring abroad and wanting to prove to people. We are not wanting to prove anything to anyone and our duty is to go out there, give our 100 per cent effort for the country and get the result that we want to," Kohli said according to PTI at the pre-departure press conference of the Indian team on Wednesday (December 27).
"We need to be realistic with what we are doing and that the only way we will be staying in the present and execute the things we want to. We are going there to just play cricket and it does not matter whether we are in South Africa, Australia, England or India," he further added.
The Indian captain though made it clear that doing well in alien conditions gives a player a lot more job satisfaction.
"When you do things in conditions that are more challenging, that gives you more job satisfaction, that is for sure," Kohli opined.
Over the years, India have struggled with the extra bounce on Proteas pitches. No wonder, they have only two Test matches in South Africa since their first tour in 1992.
"It all depends on the kind of mindset you get into as batsman. Any place, even Indian conditions can be very difficult if you are not in a good frame of mind, so cricket is played with ball and bat and if you are not there mentally, it does not matter the conditions you are playing in.
"You need to take up challenges mentally and then every conditions seem like home conditions. If you get accustomed to where you are going and you start feeling comfortable embracing the culture, people, it becomes easier," elaborated Kohli.
Kohli, who recently took a break from cricket and tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend Anushka Sharma, admitted that they haven't played a lot of cricket outside the sub-continent lately. However, he feels that the current crop of Indian players have it in them to put on a good show.
"We are talking about a wholly different prospect over here, which we understand as a team and we are looking forward to it. Every tour is a chance, if you look at the teams which have gone to South Africa in the past, I mean you are talking about some of the biggest names in Indian cricket, it's not like that was not like a chance," said the optimistic India skipper.
"You need to play really good cricket for a very long period of time to win series and that is something that we are pretty excited about and we want to go out there and express ourselves. The most important thing is that we are enjoying each other's company and that's exactly what we are looking to do," he concluded.