The 1-0 Test series win against New Zealand at home will hold India in good stead ahead of the upcoming South Africa tour, believes captain Virat Kohli. India beat New Zealand by 372 runs on Monday in the second Test. The first Test match in Kanpur ended in a draw. (More Cricket News)
“South Africa is a tough challenge and a win that we want to achieve as a team. Hopefully we can play in South Africa the way we know we can play, and win the series,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.
Chasing a mammoth 540 runs to win, New Zealand were all out for 167 in their second innings, thanks to Jayant Yadav (4/49) and Ravichandran Ashwin (4/34), who did most of the damage. Earlier India put on 321 in the first innings before bowling out the visitors for a paltry 62. New Zealand’s Ajaz Patel took all the 10 wickets for the Kiwis in the first essay.
Kohli, who opted out in Kanpur Test, also stated they want to build on their rich experiences overseas and win the maiden Test series in South Africa. “It’s a good challenge in South Africa. We built it up in England and South Africa last time, and Australia was an accumulation of all that experience,” he added.
India were scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs and four T20 internationals against South Africa initially. But a revised schedule due to concerns over the Omicron virus means India will play the T20 internationals on later dates which are yet to be announced.
India have won three Tests in South Africa since 1992 but are yet to win a series. They lost 1-2 in 2017-18. The swashbuckling right-hander opined that the mindset will be the same under new support staff too.
The legendary Dravid replaced Ravi Shastri as head coach while Paras Mhambrey and T Dilip became new bowling and fielding coaches respectively in place of Sanjay Bangar and R Sridhar. “The mindset is the same to take Indian cricket forward, even with the new management.
“It’s important to keep the standards of Indian cricket and make sure it's always growing,” Kohli said. Kohli and Shastri made a successful captain-coach combination, winning several Test series abroad.