Taking into account the success of Virat Kohli led Indian team in recent times, former skipper Sourav Ganguly has said that the current lot of players have it in them to rewrite the history books in their upcoming overseas assignments.
India are scheduled to tour England for a full-fledged bilateral series (3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 5 Tests) in June this year, while they will tour Australia by the end of 2017.
“He [Kohli] has taken batting to new heights and it makes us feel good for the upcoming visits to England and Australia because this team has the potential to win Test series in those two countries which is the ultimate achievement for any touring side. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have only got better, and the latter has emerged as the future of fast bowling for India,” Ganguly wrote in his column for TOI.
Having conceded the first two Tests and the series to the Proteas, Team India bounced back emphatically to register a historic 63-run victory in the third Test at Wanderers. Since then, Virat Kohli and company didn’t look back as they went on to clinch both the limited-overs series. While India won the six-match ODI series by a stunning margin of 5-1, they won the three-match T20I series 2-1.
“After a difficult start to the tour of South Africa, India will be happy that they turned it around and returned with heads held high. It was also creditable to win that last match at Cape Town, where they lost the first Test (and the series) and then came back to win both the ODIs and T20s. And it was creditable that they won the last game without the services of Virat Kohli, who had a stiff back,” Ganguly further added.
The Prince of Kolkata was particularly impressed with the way Indian bowlers defended a total of 172 in the last T20I in Cape Town.
“A target of 172 was not a big one looking at the way the T20 series went, but India defended really well. The difference in the win may have only been seven runs but South Africa had a lot of catching up to do,” Dada asserted.
During the entire tour, India skipper Virat Kohli led the team from the front. After amassing 286 runs at an average of 47.66 on some of the most difficult pitches in the three-match Tests series, the 29-year-old scored three more one-day international tons in the ODI series. No wonder, Ganguly is in awe of the Indian captain.
“For India the standout for the entire tour was Virat Kohli; not only with his batting but also his inspirational leadership, especially at the Wanderers. Such performances actually make the team believe that they are better and stronger. He may have got a 40 on that pitch, but the guts and body language right throughout the Test changed the complexion for the remainder of the tour,” concluded Sourav Ganguly.