India are gearing up for the upcoming four-match Test series against South Africa, which starts on 5 November in Mohali. The men in blue have lost both the T20 and ODI series against South Africa, and hence India will be eager to sign off the series on a high by clinching the Test series.
The India team should forget about their performances in coloured clothing and focus on the five-day affair, which will test the character of both the teams. Former Test skipper, MS Dhoni feels that the T20 and the ODI series loss should not bother the Indian team as Test matches are a completely different affair.
"Results of T20 and ODIs will not bother players at all, because a Test is a completely different challenge. If you get wickets like Chennai (fourth ODI), the Test series will be very interesting, reason being it's a long series and that's (turning wicket) the challenge you face when it comes to Indian cricket," rediff.com quoted Dhoni as saying.
"Indian cricket is not about flat wickets. I love playing on wickets that turn. I love playing on wickets where there's some kind of challenge for batsmen to score. It will be an interesting series," added Dhoni.
Spin has always been India's biggest strength. India will depend on the services of Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra, but the former's participation is a cause of worry in the first Test as he is fighting against time to get fit for Mohali Test. Ashwin suffered side strain in the first ODI against South Africa, which had ruled him out of the remaining ODI matches.
However, India should be a confident unit heading into the Test series after defeating Sri Lanka after a gap of 22 years. The India team, under the leadership of Virat Kohli, played some great cricket in the Test series and the skipper should lead from the front at home also.
Kohli took over the captaincy from MS Dhoni, who retired from the longer format of the game late last year. The last Test series against Sri Lanka was Kohli's first full-fledged tour as captain.
The Test series against South Africa is going to be his biggest challenge as captain as the visitors are the number one side in the world. They have some of the best players in world cricket. If players such as AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir get their game going, they are going to make life difficult for India.