India aiming for Test series win in South Africa, no longer think about winning just a match: Virat Kohli

India vs South Africa: Test captain Virat Kohli said that the team will be gunning for a first-ever series win in South Africa and will be taking motivation from the fact that they won the final Test of their last series in the country in “the toughest conditions” of the tour,

Kohli said that India will be looking to win the series in South Africa. (AP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • India lost their last Test series in South Africa 2-1
  • India won the last Test which was played on a treacherous pitch at the Wanderers
  • India have since beat Australia twice away from home and lead an incomplete series in England 2-1
India Test captain Virat Kohli has said that the team will be taking a lot of motivation from the fact that they beat South Africa in challenging conditions in the last match of their previous tour of the country. India play a three-Test series South Africa from December 26 in what will be their first red-ball series in the country since 2017/18.

India had lost the series 2-1 but won the final Test on a treacherous pitch at the Wanderers by 63 runs. They went on to trounce South Africa in the subsequent ODI series 5-0.

“We can take a lot of motivation from that. We probably won in the toughest conditions on that tour. That should give us a lot of confidence. If we start off well, then we can definitely stand up to any challenge that comes our way and take a lot of heart from it,” Kohli told reporters prior to the departure of the team from India on Wednesday.

India are yet to record a Test series win in South Africa.

“South Africa is one place where we have not won a series yet so we are very motivated to do that. The mindset is always to go out there and win a series in any country that we play. We don’t think of just winning a Test match here and there anymore and we will do our absolute best to make sure we keep contributing towards that cause. We will take a lot of motivation and belief from that victory,” he said.

The 2017/18 tour of South Africa was Kohli’s first as India’s full-time captain in all formats of the game. Since then, India have recorded back-to-back Test series wins in Australia and lead England 2-1 in a five-Test series with the last match being postponed.

“South Africa was the start for us as a team to start believing that we can win series overseas. We built it up nicely in England (in 2018) and then Australia was nice accumulation of all that effort. South Africa presents a different kind of challenge, the wickets have a lot of pace and bounce. You need to be at your absolute best to be able to perform there and get runs. It is something we have tried to do as a team but probably left ourselves a bit too much to at certain times where sessions have gone very bad if they went bad it.

“This is something we have controlled in the recent past with more experience and guys understanding how to play in these conditions against the quick bowlers and how to transition their innings through the day so they can bat long. I think we are very well placed in terms of experience and belief that we can do something special as a team… overcome probably the toughest conditions and win a series there,” he said.

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