Kohli: We're ready for South Africa

Faith Castro
January 1, 2018

Speaking in Cape Town, Shastri said: "This team is up for the challenge". A couple of days before the Test, we will see how to go into the match.

The Indian team may not encounter the kind of bounce they are expecting from the Newlands track during the first Test against South Africa on January 5 as the worst drought in many years has made it hard for the groundsmen to prepare a pitch that suits the home team.

"The challenge is that we need to leave live grass on the wicket, thin grass, so that there is pace, but we want to make sure the ball doesn't grip and turn. But it's about the number of games we had played then and the number we have played now", said Kohli. If you had asked me four years ago I would have said no.

"We know the general conditions in South Africa, so we are preparing according to that". The experience, Kohli said, has created "intelligence and awareness" that would stand the team in good stead.

The search for high-quality practice time in order to acclimatise to South African conditions was behind India's decision to cancel their warm-up match ahead of the three-Test series.

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The bottom-ranked test nation were beaten by an innings and 120 runs inside two days in the inaugural four-day test against their neighbours. But right now, the kind of hunger we have as a team, everyone wants an opportunity and I think that's an exciting thing.

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. I've been training to get back to playing in South Africa. "The last time that we played there was a lot of talk about us getting bounced out and struggling against the short ball", he said. We feel we have the skill set to do well in any place in the world.

"With the pitch, we've been able to carry on watering it as usual every day with borehole water".

"Yesterday, we did two sessions to get into the Test mode. We know how to win Test matches now and that's a very good habit and knowledge to have, and we're just preparing well to execute those skills we have". We are prepared. We're not going to be under any delusions as to what we're going to be presented with come 5th of January. Come tomorrow, we have conditions that we want. "Any place, even Indian conditions, is hard if you're not in a good frame of mind".

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