Winning Test matches outside the sub-continent has always been one heck of a task for the Indian teams over the years, but India skipper Virat Kohli believes that his troops have it in them to turn things on their all-important tour of South Africa, slated to commence with the first Test on January 5 at Newlands, Cape Town.
The Indian captain justified his remark by stating that they have nearly all the bases covered and certainly boast a much better pace battery this time around.
“Our best result here has been a drawn series in 2010-11 but I feel the kind of bowling attack we have now and the balance we have in the side, we definitely can win here. There are no two ways about it,” Kohli was quoted by Indian Express as saying.
“We come here wanting to express ourselves, believing in our abilities and knowing we have the right balance to win Test matches under any conditions we play under,” he added.
With 1-0 series win against Sri Lanka, Team India very recently registered their 9th consecutive Test series victories and with that Kohli equalled Australian skipper Ricky Ponting’s feat of most consecutive Test series wins as a captain. 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.
“This is an opportunity for us to play good cricket. We aren’t thinking about the history of past series in South Africa but concentrating on winning each session and executing our strategy well. I think international cricket is all about staying in the present and trying to do things better than your opposition at all times.
“If we didn’t have that mindset, there would be no point getting on to the flight to come here,” Virat said.
Talking about the preparations, the 29-year-old Indian captain said: “We come to South Africa knowing the wickets are going to be different from those back home. We are under no illusions but we are ready for it. Last time we were here there was a lot of talk about our batsmen being bounced out but we stood up rather nicely.”
Kohli, who scored a magnificent Test ton during India’s last trip to South Africa in 2013-14, also made it clear that the visiting batsmen will not going to be bogged down by the pace and bounce of Proteas fast bowlers.
“The most important thing is not to get surprised by the pace and bounce. It is going to be much quicker and much more bouncy than back home and you will get balls that will surprise you every now and then, so the most important thing is to focus on the game ball by ball,” asserted Kohli.
“That’s something we did last time. You can’t afford to worry about the pace and bounce, you have to believe in your abilities and take it head-on. That’s key to playing in conditions that are different from your own,” he concluded.