The victory in four days in the first Test over South Africa here is a testimony to India’s all-round strength in the longest format of the game, said, captain Virat Kohli.
The second day of the opening Test between India and South Africa was washed out but four days were enough for visitors to register a thumping win. India concluded 2021 with a 113-run win over South Africa in the first Test at SuperSport Park on Thursday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
It was also India’s first-ever Test victory at the Centurion, which is largely considered to be a fortress for the Proteas and the Indian skipper also feels Centurion is one of ‘the most difficult’ among all venues in South Africa.
“Test series in South Africa in any place is not easy and Centurion is obviously the most difficult of them all. We ended up getting a result in four days is a testimony to the fact that we have become the side we have become today and the strength of the squad was on full display with the bat, with the ball, and in the field as well,” Kohli told bcci.tv.
“We were just looking for opportunities to win the game and that’s how we play cricket now and given an opportunity at any stage we will pounce on it,” he added.
India are seeking a first-ever Test series triumph in South Africa and Kohli feels it is a ‘golden opportunity’ for the visitors to put pressure on the hosts.
“It’s a beautiful position to be in, to be 1-0 up away from home, putting the opposition under pressure again in the second Test is a golden opportunity for us and something that every player is looking forward to,” he said.
The star batter also highlighted that Team India have played some outstanding cricket over the last 2-3 years and they are getting better and confident with each passing game.
“The new year is a very good marker to analyse how you played your cricket and I think we’ve played some outstanding cricket over the last 2-3 years, especially overseas. We are a side which is getting better and more confident with how much cricket we play,” Kohli said.
“This sets us up beautifully for Wanderers, we can go out there and be more positive and optimistic,” he added.
Stand-in Test vice-captain KL Rahul, who was adjudged Player of the Match for his fantastick 123-run knock in the first innings, was also happy by the win.
“Coming to a country like South Africa and beating them in their own fortress feels very special. This is the second such victory for us, one was in Gabba and now one in Centurion. Hopefully, we can build on this and win the series,” Rahul said.