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Virat Kohli sets sight on overseas victories after resounding home success

India's Virat Kohli receives the ICC Test Mace from former Indian cricket player Sunil Gavaskar (R) after India won the test series against Australia
India's Virat Kohli receives the ICC Test Mace from former Indian cricket player Sunil Gavaskar (R) after India won the test series against Australia
©REUTERS
 

India captain Virat Kohli has urged his team to win games abroad following a highly successful home season that ended with conquering the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.

The season kicked-off with a full fledged series against New Zealand where India won the Test series 3-0 followed by a 3-2 triumph in One-Day Internationals while against England, India went on to clinch the Test series 4-0 and also sealed the ODIs and Twenty20 International series following that.

India headed into Australia series after thrashing Bangladesh in the one-off Test and managed to reclaim Border-Gavaskar Trophy with 2-1 victory over Steven Smith's men.

Overall, in the longer format of the game in this home season, India won 10 games while two ended in a draw and lost a solitary game which came in Pune against Australia.

In the process, India have also retained the ICC Test Championship mace and pocketed a $1 million cash award for their successful performance which kept them at the pole position in the rankings.

"It's a classic case of understanding that this is not the end of anything. No need to get over-excited with whatever we have done," said Kohli.

"We are very happy with number one ranking in the world but our main challenge begins now. If we can conquer the overseas season, that's when you will see a broader smile on my face when I sit down for the press conference."

One of the biggest positive for India in this home season was the rise of their fast bowlers especially Umesh Yadav. Mohammad Shami was brilliant in the six games he played before injury cut short his season while Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were brilliant in patches.

With the number one and two ranked bowlers - Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in the side, Kohli feels India have the resources to win outside the country as well.

"Few of the guys have told me that the kind of fast bowling bunch that we have now gives us a good chance to go outside India and put in good performances," added Kohli.

"I'm certainly very sure and positive about the fact that these guys can deliver away from home.

"The fitness levels have gone up and relentlessness of their bowling and the consistency have improved.

"I'm sure they will be able to sustain this for longer periods when we go overseas, and not let the game drift away. Pretty excited about what lies ahead for us as a team."

India are set to tour Sri Lanka and South Africa following the Champions Trophy 2017 that kicks-off in June and in between the two tours, they will host Australia for limited overs series as well.

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