Virat Kohli is confident that India can record their first Test series win in South Africa.
It’s a clash between the two top Test sides as India aim to stop the Proteas from gaining ground on their No 1 position on the rankings. India are top with a rating of 124 in 40 matches, while the Proteas are second after 35 matches with a rating of 111.
The sides will face-off in a three-match Test series which starts on 5 January, and despite having never won a series in South Africa (five losses and one draw), Kohli says that his side does not have anything to prove.
‘We, as a team, are feeling confident in the way we stand – the balance and the kind of cricket we’ve been playing,’ Kohli told reporters.
‘Apart from the Champions Trophy, we haven’t played consistently outside of India and we’re looking forward to it and its challenges.’
The India captain believes that he has a strong squad and that they can win the series despite their average record away from home.
‘The hunger is still the same, we want to try and do what we couldn’t do in 2013. It’s an opportunity for us to go back again and play consistently and get the results we were looking for,’ said Kohli.
‘We know what we want to do as a team, when we do things in conditions that are more challenging that gives you job satisfaction that’s for sure and the same goes when you win every game.’
India’s last major away series victory came against New Zealand in 2008-09 when they clinched the series 1-0 in a three-match Test series.
‘We’ve gotten rid of all the pressures of touring abroad and wanting to prove to people,’ added Kohli. ‘We don’t want to prove anything to anyone, our duty is to give 100% for the country and get the results we want to.’
Play will start at 10:00 at Newlands on Friday.
India’s Test squad for South Africa: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, K. L. Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.
India’s tour fixtures in South Africa:
5-9 January – 1st Test, Newlands
13-17 January – 2nd Test, Centurion
24-28 January – 3rd Test, Wanderers
1 February – 1st ODI, Kingsmead (D/N)
4 February – 2nd ODI, Centurion
7 February – 3rd ODI, Newlands (D/N)
10 February – 4th ODI, Wanderers (D/N)
13 February – 5th ODI, St. George’s Park (D/N)
16 February – 6th ODI, Centurion (D/N)
18 February – 1st T20I, Wanderers
21 February – 2nd T20I, Centurion (D/N)
13-17 February – 3rd T20I, Newlands (D/N)
Photo: Hindustan Times/Getty Images