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  5. This victory could help us win in alien conditions: Virat Kohli

This victory could help us win in alien conditions: Virat Kohli

India maintained their unbeaten record at the Wanderers after dismissing South Africa for 177 to pull one back in the three-Test series.

Reported by: PTI, New Delhi [ Published on: January 28, 2018 11:01 IST ]
Image Source : AP Virat Kohli celebrates with his players after winning the 3rd Test.

India skipper Virat Kohli today termed the 63-run win in the third Test as a massive milestone for his team and said it could help the side win more matches in alien conditions in the upcoming Test series.

India maintained their unbeaten record at the Wanderers after dismissing South Africa for 177 to pull one back in the three-Test series.

"It could be a massive milestone for us. We already had the belief but now we have the result to back it up. We certainly believe that on any conditions, we have the ability to think about winning Tests," Kohli told reporters.

"Yes, we will lose some but we will end up winning a lot as well. This day will be remembered for a long time as a team. I believe that and the whole team believes that. The mood in the change room is amazing right now and the guys are looking forward to repeating this much more in conditions that are not ours," he added.

On a green top wicket, India played only five full-time batsmen and a five-pacer attack as well. Then they opted to bat first after winning the toss and yet managed to etch out a win.

"The decision to play all five seamers was purely because of the fact that someone like Hardik (Pandya) can do the job of the fifth bowler here and to play four seamers here is something that really worked in our favour," Kohli explained.

"It's just that we batted better than them in this game and bowled better. That's why we won."

Kohli and Co received a lot of flak after losing the opening two Tests.

"A lot of people didn't have belief in us but as a team we knew that we were very close in the first two Tests too. We knew that if we played better in pressure-situations than them, then we would win," he said.

"And we did that in this Test match. This win was very important from our and the Indian team's point of view, and we were determined to win this match," he added.

Despite the losses, Kohli said his team never lost faith and always backed themselves.

"We don't think like people on the outside. When things don't go well, we as a team don't say 'oh we should have done this' or 'we should have done that'. That's the easiest thing to do. I can say or write anything about anyone," he said.

"But when you're in there, facing their bowling attack on that sort of a wicket, and then when you decide to bat first, you need to be sure. You need to have belief in yourself.

"So, we certainly back ourselves as a team and that's something we have done throughout this tour. Yes, we were disappointed things did not come together in the first two games but we are really proud of this effort," he added.

Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla put on 119 runs for the second wicket and South Africa were placed at 124/1 at one stage.

The Proteas though collapsed afterwards and succumbed to the pressure of the fourth-innings' chase.

Kohli said: "We got stuck into them in the second innings at Cape Town as well. Then they had a collapse in Centurion in the first innings. So we knew that if we get a couple of wickets the same thing could be repeated.

"Because as a batsman you are certainly reminded of the collapses that you have had and you don't want to repeat that. We knew that the kind of bowling attack we had and the way we are bowling right now, even if get a couple of wickets it will only be a matter of time," Kohli said.

The India skipper further explained: "I don't think like people on the outside (and worry about wickets not falling). It's very important for me to have belief in the team. At all stages I was thinking if we were in this position, and if we lose a wickets, that suddenly makes things difficult for the next batsmen to coming in to bat.

"We knew that when they lose a couple of wickets, guys coming in are going to be nervous because this is Johannesburg. They need to play well and do the job. We had nothing to lose, we were playing expressive cricket, and we got stuck into them. This is probably one of our sweetest wins and I am really proud of the whole team," he added.

South Africa won the series 2-1 and now the two teams look forward to the six-match ODI series starting in Durban on February 1.

Kohli said: "There is a lot of mutual respect. The rivalry stays on the pitch. We don't see anyone talking ill about the other team. They give credit to us when we do well and we give credit to them when they do well.

"Lot of these guys play with us in the IPL as well so we know them really well also. But when you step out as a team there is no friendships there, there is only competition. When you step off it they are lovely guys and we have no issues at all.

"The teams know each other really well. And it is exciting for world cricket and that's why this win was important for us also. Because we are the no.1 side in the world and we played like that today. So given tough competition from the no.2 side in their own conditions, we showed character and am sure the public enjoyed watching this series as well," Kohli signed off.

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