Virat Kohli was a run-machine for India in 2017, scoring 2,818 runs across all formats, including 1,059 runs in the longer format and former player Virender Sehwag expects the same form to continue in South Africa. India will start the year in South Africa with a three-match Test series with the first game scheduled for January 5 in Cape Town.

The India captain is known for leading from the front. The fighter in him comes alive when the going gets tough, and South Africa is expected to be one major challenge for Team India.

India have always been known as a team, who are 'lions at home and lambs abroad'. This normally stems from the fact that India has not been performing well abroad.

The current Test squad looks strong, comprising confident bunch of players. With India searching for their first series win in South Africa, Sehwag believes Kohli will score runs heavily, but explained the big challenge ahead.

Virat Kohli drinks
File photo of India captain Virat KohliISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

"I am sure Virat Kohli will lead from the front. He will score a lot of runs. The year 2018 is starting with a big challenge. The tour of South Africa will be India and Virat Kohli's biggest challenge this year. If Virat manages to win the series, he will be the first Indian captain to do so," Sehwag said on India TV's 'Cricket Ki Baat'.

The year 2017 did not test Kohli the captain in the longer format as India, who are dominant in the sub-continent, played most of their cricket at home. But, the playing surfaces in South Africa are going to be a different matter altogether, where bowlers will rule the roost, and Sehwag feels there is a need for India to go with a definitive strategy.

"As a captain, you need to have a clear strategy in place in South Africa... how to get rid of their batsmen, how to handle their fast bowlers. It is important to implement them on the field," Sehwag said.