Kohli feels India have the bowling to win in South Africa

Virat Kohli (left) is confident of his team's chances in South Africa
Virat Kohli (left) is confident of his team's chances in South Africa

India skipper Virat Kohli believes his team has the right combination as they bid to win a Test series in South Africa for the first time.

Under Kohli, India conquered wins against New Zealand, South Africa, England, Australia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at home that helped them claim the pole position in the ICC Rankings table.

Even though the games were played in spin friendly conditions, the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav also impressed make it a formidable attack.

With Jasprit Bumrah also early a call-up to the squad and the presence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, Kohli believes India have all based covered for the upcoming series.

“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,” he told a news conference as India began their preparations for the first test at Newlands in Cape Town, which starts on Friday.

“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.

“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,” Kohli told reporters.

Even though India have the momentum on their side, their record in the rainbow nation has been dismal as they won just two out of the 17 Tests and have lost five out of the six series played in South Africa previously but Kohli is determined to change the tide this time around.

“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.

“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,” said Kohli, second behind Australia skipper Steve Smith in the individual test batting rankings.

“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 added.

The three Tests will be played between 5th and 28th January with Cape Town, Centurion and Johannesburg being the venues.

© Cricket World 2017


India tour of South Africa 2018 - Player Profiles