India skipper Virat Kohli believes mental preparation will be the key when they head to South Africa for a full-fledged tour that involves three Tests, six One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals next month.
Kohli's men have been in stupendous form and have been unbeatable at home and recently defeated Sri Lanka in all the three formats.
However, this will be their first major challenge away from home as they take on a rampant Proteas team, who are fresh from completing an innings victory over Zimbabwe in just two days.
“You need to play cricket for long period of time to win abroad,” Kohli told a news conference.
”The hunger this time is the same. We want to do what we couldn’t the last time around.
“Cricket is played with bat and ball and if you are there mentally, every condition seems like a home condition. You have to embrace the local culture to be able to do well there. The excitement is very important to be able to do well.”
India are currently the number one team in Test rankings but will face a tough challenge in the next 18 months that will see them head to South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand and Kohli believes this will define their character.
“You need to take up the challenges while travelling to places like South Africa, England and Australia because you go there once and then you won’t travel there for a long time because of the way scheduling is done,” the 29-year-old added.
“The conditions would be testing but this one and a half year will define this Indian team and the whole team is aware of this.”
India have played 17 tests against the Proteas in South Africa, winning two and losing on eight occasions. Seven tests ended in draws.
© Cricket World 2017