Kohli believes balanced Indian team ready for Proteas test

Cape Town, Dec 30 (IANS) India captain Virat Kohli on Saturday expressed confidence that his team was a balanced side capable of getting an elusive Test series win against South Africa.

India arrived here on a 56-day-long tour in which they will play three Tests, six One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). The first Test begins on January 5.

“We have the right kind of bowling attack and the right kind of balance to win Test matches in any conditions we play in,” Kohli said at the arrival press conference here.

“For us it is about winning sessions, being in the present, executing our skills well, not looking at the history of a particular country we are playing in.”

Kohli said that his players have come of age and now have the intelligence and know-how to win Test matches.

“A lot of our players have played here before. But it’s about the number of games we had played then and the number we have played now. We all understand our own games so much better. As a team we have confidence in our personal skills set,” said Kohli.

“There’s a sense of intelligence and awareness and that provides the excitement. We know exactly what we need to do come game time. We know how to win Test matches.”

Chief coach Ravi Shastri agreed with his captain. “This team is up for the challenge. If you had asked me four years ago I would have said no. But this team has gained in experience. The beauty of this team is that it doesn’t matter which opposition.

“We look at the pitch and adapt to the conditions. Every game is a home game. It’s as simple as that,” the former all-rounder said.

“This will be a contest. I can sense our players want this Test match to start as soon as possible.”

Kohli, meanwhile, played down the series being billed a contest between him and Ab de Villiers — considered two of the best batsman of the generation.

“It’s not like only two guys are playing in this series. AB is a great friend of mine. I respect the way he plays the game and I have always respected him as a person as well,” he said.

But, when we are playing against each other — it’s not that we cross the line with each other, we are just not like that,” he added.