Virat Kohli equalled Ricky Ponting’s world record of most successive series wins as captain as India claimed the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka at Feroz Shah Kotla on Wednesday. With this series victory, Kohli has now led India to nine consecutive Test series wins. But South Africa would be different ball game altogether as the tracks there are a lot more seamer friendly and the extra bounce can often surprise you as a batsman. Former India batsman Vinod Kambli reckons that positive and aggressive attitude with the bat will be key to India’s success on the bouncy tracks of South Africa. India are set to tour South Africa early next year to play three Tests, six ODIs and three T20s, with the first Test scheduled at Cape Town from January 5.
“It will be about the technique and the approach towards the game. There will be bouncy tracks and they (South African bowlers) will come at you. So the more aggressively and positively you play will be the best thing to do in South Africa,” Kambli told reporters.
“I had learnt when I played as professional that you have to play aggressively and positively. No matter whatever the situation is, just play your best,” he added. Kambli said the way the Indian team is playing currently, it will do well in South Africa.
“I am very confident that our team will do well (in South Africa), the way they are playing and the way they are winning. We have got the batting line up. Though it will be a challenge for Virat (Kohli) and the team,” said Kambli at sidelines of a function, where Mumbai Cricket Association announced its inaugural Mumbai T20 League from January 4 to 9.
Kambli was the first Indian batsman in Test matches to score two consecutive double hundreds in the 1990s, a feat which was equalled by skipper Virat Kohli when he scored two back-to-back double tons against Sri Lanka in the just-concluded Test series.
“The way Virat is playing is amazing. I am happy to see him batting like that. I am also VK and he is also VK. I got the double hundreds long back. I would like to congratulate him,” the former left-handed batsman said.
Ajinkya Rahane struggled to score runs during the Test series against Sri Lanka but Kambli felt that the Mumbai batsman needed just one big knock to get back his confidence.
“He is struggling but once he gets in, he should get bigger runs. Getting out so early, you lose your confidence and concentration. So for him, it’s one big knock. If he gets an opportunity, one big knock will bring back his confidence,” said the 45-year-old former batsman, who represented India in 17 Tests and 104 ODIs.
Kambli said he did not regret the fact that there was no T20 cricket during his playing days.
“I played my T20 when I was playing for the country. I played all my shots like that (in T20) while playing in 50 overs and in Tests as well. I don’t regret that during our time there was no T20. Now, it’s been accepted by all the playing nations and it is a good entertainment,” he said.
About the Mumbai T20 League, Kambli felt it was a big platform for the budding cricketers from the megapolis and was a first step to get into the coveted Indian Premier League.
“It (MCA T20 League) is a good opportunity for the youngsters. We play a lot of T20, but this is a big platform for them and hope they get the exposure. It is a learning process for all the youngsters who will be playing because they have to think about the IPL. For IPL, this (tournament) is the first step. They do it well here and they will get bigger platforms,” he said.