Indian coach Ravi Shastri said that Virat Kohli would have learnt a lot as captain in the South Africa tour. “As captain he would have learnt heck of a lot because this was a tough tour, make no mistake about it,” he is quoted as saying by India Today. “I’ve been going to South Africa since 1992, you tell me one South African team which is not a strong team? And when you look at their attack now, it’s as good as any in the world specially in those conditions,” he said.
India suffered a 2-1 defeat in the Test series but they took the momentum they gained from the victory on a treachorous pitch in the last match to the ODI series. They won the ODI series 5-1, the first time ever that they have won a series in South Africa and the T20I series 2-1. Kohli was a driving force in all the wins. He was the only played to score a century in the entire Test series and scored a whopping 558 runs in the ODIs
“Virat Kohli leads from the front,” said Shastri, “He is a tough guy in the mind and that makes a huge difference because it spreads amongst his teammates as well. And we knew even after losing 2 Tests that we weren’t far behind. People might say anything, they might write anything but we give two hoots.”
India’s upturn in fortunes came in the third Test when they navigated a pitch that was almost deemed too dangerous to play on. The win was largely seen as a contradiction to the “flat track bullies” tag that is always associated with them after an away tour failure. “The captain not for one minute didn’t believe India wouldn’t win (the Johannesburg Test). That was the difference. Even at 120 for 1 he believed that India could win. Even when they came in at tea time he was very clear that “we are winning this Test match”. They (South Africa) were three down at that time. When you have that kind of self-belief, as I said it’s like a disease which spreads among the other players,” he added.