Time for Virat Kohli to test his troops overseas: Is Team India ready?

first_imgVirat Kohli is on the verge of creating history.He has now led India to eight successive series victories in Test cricket. If India beat Sri Lanka in the Test series on the return tour later this year, Kohli will edge closer to Ricky Ponting’s world record of 10 straight Test series wins. But that is where the real challenge starts. India’s next assignment will take them away from home to South Africa, where they have never won a Test series. Over the last couple of times, India have been competitive, drawing a series in 2011 and losing another one narrowly in 2013-14.(Jadeja banned for Pallekele Test after dangerously throwing ball at Sri Lankan batsman)Make no mistake, Kohli’s India have not had it easy despite playing at home mostly. Their away Test matches have been against Sri Lanka (2015 and 2017) and West Indies (2016). Besides, England were competitive and Australia could have done some serious damage – they had won in Pune and made life really difficult for the hosts before they finally prevailed in the cooler climes of Dharamsala to pull off a memorable win. (Jadeja elated after India thrash Sri Lanka in Colombo Test)India beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 53 runs in Colombo to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead #SLvINDReport ?? https://t.co/V2ywNophBe pic.twitter.com/rvOt7HxNdT- ICC (@ICC) August 7, 2017The Sri Lankan team of 2017, without Dilshan, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, were not even expected to be a force to be reckoned with. India, riding high on their overall supremacy, made lightwork of the islanders and cruised away to two comprehensive wins in Galle and Colombo.advertisement2-0 #TeamIndia #SLvIND pic.twitter.com/10V1xaOEig- BCCI (@BCCI) August 6, 2017But Sanjay Manjrekar, the former India batsman, put it all in perspective when he said Kohli should do perhaps do what Imran Khan had done in his stint as Pakistan captain: ask the authorities for sterner tests against better opponents. (STATS: R Ashwin’s record spree continues as India win another Test series)And sterner tests will come. South Africa were blown away by India in 2015 but they are a different kettle of fish in their own conditions. The fast wickets, the fast bowlers and the explosive batsmen will present a challenge this Indian team would be eagerly awaiting.For all that it’s worth, Team India is no longer in a phase of transition. The players have plenty of experience in the longest format – they have a settled side that even the Proteas cannot possibly boast of given their recent travails with injuries to key players. Ab de Villiers is not yet certain of his future in the Test arena and Hashim Amla is increasingly beginning to look like he is struggling to hold his own at the top of the order.Dale Steyn’s fitness of course has been a major cause for concern while skipper Faf du Plessis would be under pressure to lead from the front and be the catalyst the side need him to be.But all their flaws could be ironed out when South Africa find themselves in the comfort of their home conditions. For India, it would be an opportunity to show to the world that they are the only side in this era who have the ability to dominate teams everywhere.India will also soon travel to Australia in the coming months before setting sail to England, which will bring back vivid memories for the India captain: but is Kohli ready? Is Cheteshwar Pujara ready? Can Ajinkya Rahane inspire in the middle order? Will the pacers, who have bowled so heroically in the sub-continent, pick up pace and rattle the pros in their own den?Say cheese! @imjadeja with the Man of the Match award for the 2nd Test #TeamIndia #SLvIND pic.twitter.com/ZJEizvCcvK- BCCI (@BCCI) August 6, 2017last_img

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