Important to not get surprised by pace, bounce: Kohli

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Cape Town: The team has come a long way since their last tour of 2013 but even then skipper Virat Kohli is under “no delusion” as he knows what to expect when the much-anticipated Test series against South Africa starts on 5 January.

“We are prepared about what we are going to get here. We are under no delusions as to what we are going to be presented with. Come 5th of Jan, we are ready for it,” Kohli said, exuding confidence during his media interaction after the team’s opening practice session.

India have never won a Test series in South Africa, having toured the country since 1992 and the current team has 13 players, who were here during the last tour in 2013-14.

“We have come a long way in the last four years in terms of where we stand in understanding our game. From a personal point of view, I know my game much better than four years ago.

I have had many highs and lows. The team is very comfortable with where we stand, individually with our skill sets and as a team,” Kohli said.

“We know how to bounce back as a team, we know how to create chances when we have to. There is an intelligence and awareness that has crept in the last four years and that provides the excitement I was talking about. We know exactly what we need to do when it comes game time on 5th January,” the skipper said.

The Indian captain said he expects tracks with a lot of pace and bounce but reminded how well they played last time in the opening Test in Johannesburg, where they could not get South Africa all-out in the second innings on the fifth day.

“Yeah, we come to South Africa knowing that the wickets will be different from back home. Even the last time we played there was a lot of talk about we getting bounced out and we are going to struggle against the short ball. I think our batsmen stood up very nicely.”

Kohli feels that the quality in his side’s line-up gives him confidence of winning the series.

The skipper said that his batsmen are well aware of what to expect and they have the mindset to adapt to conditions which will be pace-bowling friendly.

PTI