Indian skipper Virat Kohli in a press conference, on Saturday, said South Africa or any other team can 'surprise us' because it is all about the teams’ “mindset”. This statement comes ahead of South Africa’s tour to India for a three-match T20 series. Virat Kohli explained that every team in the world has the potential to defeat the other, even while playing against the home side in their own pitch, despite all odds and weather conditions. He stressed on the importance of being ready and added that they needed to match the visiting team's preparation. On their last tour of India in 2015, SA won the ODI and T20 series. However, India was able to defend the Test series with a clean sweep in all three matches.
While the Proteas are all geared up to travel to India, Virat Kohli reiterated that India’s preparation and mindset were really important. He said,
“Any team can pull a surprise anywhere; we have beaten sides in their own conditions also. So, once you have the ability and the right mindset, whether you play at home or play away you are going to find it very difficult. If we take a good mindset along with us to any other country, they also find it difficult. So, I think for us as a home team we need to be sure of our GamePlan. Just the way we prepare for an overseas series where we are very focused, this is the same. International cricket nowadays all about your mindset, just like Ravi bhaiya (the coach of Indian cricket team) said in the past, every condition can be a home condition if you feel comfortable. So, I think it’s getting into that frame of mind for us. This is the reason why we’ve been one of the most consistent teams for the last two to three years. We have to just play our best cricket and win whether it’s home or away.”
While India will be fielding their frontline batsmen such as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan in the upcoming T20 series, Quinton De Kock will take the reins of captaincy for the Proteas. Virat Kohli also said that trying out various combinations is very crucial in these matches as these would be the deciding factor for the T20 World Cup. New players like Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Sundar Washington, and Navdeep Saini have also been included in the squad. On the other hand, Francois Du Plessis and ace pacer Dale Steyn have not been considered for selection in the shorter format of the game from the South African side. The first game will be played at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association ground in Dharamshala.