India captain Virat Kohli will look to extend his 9-Test series victory run in South Africa. (PTI)
Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, India has been on a rampant run of victories, beating every top opposition in all formats. The side has already won 9 consecutive Test series and will look to extend the run in January against South Africa. But in spite of the unbeaten streak, questions still linger if the team is ready for the Proteas challenge. India has played most of the series in the subcontinent and critics believe that the side’s real strength will be justified if Kohli can take India to a win in the overseas tours.
Speaking to reporters, South African batsman AB de Villiers said that Kohli will try to create history in the upcoming series. “We know all about Virat Kohli, how determined he is as captain; he’ll definitely come here trying to win and to make history. We are well aware of that and we’ll prepare accordingly. Hopefully play some good cricket in the summer,” de Villiers said.
The 33-year old also praised India’s young side and said, “They’ve played a lot better in our conditions over the last few series we’ve played here compared to the 90s. They are a team that’s young and determined,” he said.
De Villiers added that South Africa will try to surpass India to become the No.1 Test team in the world. “Obviously we’d like to be No. 1 in the world, we are not far away. We know if we win a few series in the next two or three months against very tough oppositions, we can achieve that. We’ll take it one step at a time and hopefully achieve that. Obviously, that will be nice – to be that No.1 team in the world again and to maintain it for a few years,” he said.
The right-hand batsman, who was included in South Africa’s squad for the upcoming 4-day pink ball Test series against Zimbabwe, said he is ready to return to the longest format of the game. “I pride myself on the fact that I can adapt to certain conditions, certain formats. I’ve worked really hard at my game in the last six months. I started off at the end of July facing red balls at the University of Pretoria, getting some technical stuff sorted out and I feel more ready than ever to take it on. I have been working for the last six months to get ready for this,” he said.
The last time de Villiers played Test cricket was against England back in January 2016. His return to the format came just a month before the series against India and he is likely to be included in the squad for the same. In 6 series India has played in South Africa, they have not won single one of them. The first Test between India and South Africa will start on January 5.