After a resounding victory in the ODI and T20I series, Virat Kohli and his team have garnered praise from across the globe. Even though the team lost the test series, in the beginning, many believe that the victory in the 3rd test was the turning point from India’s perspective. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has given Kohli and team India his vote of confidence and believes that they could also succeed on two very crucial foreign tours this year. First, the tour to England in June and then Australia later in the year.
The 63 run win the 3rd test match at Johannesburg proved to be the catalyst for India going forward and the team didn’t get complacent from there on as they drubbed the Proteas 5-1 in the ODI series and 2-1 in the T20I series. In his column for TOI, Sourav Ganguly wrote,
“He [Kohli] has taken batting to new heights and it makes us feel good for the upcoming visits to England and Australia because this team has the potential to win Test series in those two countries which is the ultimate achievement for any touring side. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have only got better, and the latter has emerged as the future of fast bowling for India.”
India has enjoyed a lot of success at home over the past decade or so but the same can’t be said about their foreign tour. The ODI series win in South Africa was their 1st win in 27 years and the last time they toured England and Australia, they returned having been defeated 3-1 and 2-0 respectively. These two tours later in the year will prove to be the litmus test for the men in blue, who are currently ranked Number 1 in Tests and ODI’s.
Sourav Ganguly himself has captained India on many foreign tours during his playing career and even led the team to the 2003 World Cup Final in South Africa. He was most impressed by India’s attitude even after the 2nd test match defeat. How the team came back to win the 3rd test and then dominate the hosts completely in the limited over format.
India won the final T20I against South Africa without Virat Kohli
Sourav Ganguly said, “After a difficult start to the tour of South Africa, India will be happy that they turned it around and returned with heads held high. It was also creditable to win that last match at Cape Town, where they lost the first Test (and the series) and then came back to win both the ODIs and T20s. And it was credible that they won the last game without the services of Virat Kohli, who had a stiff back.”
Virat Kohli’s leadership in South Africa deserves credit, says Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly who scored over 18,000 international runs and played over 100 test matches for India, was highly impressed with Virat Kohli’s performance but what left him most pleased was his leadership over the whole tour.
“For India the standout for the entire tour was Virat Kohli; not only with his batting but also his inspirational leadership, especially at the Wanderers. Such performances actually make the team believe that they are better and stronger. He may have got a 40 on that pitch, but the guts and body language right throughout the Test changed the complexion for the remainder of the tour,” the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) said.
Kohli and a few other senior players including MS Dhoni have been rested for the 2018 Nidahas Trophy coming up in March in Sri Lanka. The BCCI have decided to go with a young team, in order to give more playing time to the fringe players before deciding on the final squad for next year’s World Cup. India play their first match against Sri Lanka on 6th March.