Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers    Getty Images
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers Getty Images

The three-match Test series between India and South Africa begins from January 5. The series will feature Dale Steyn, Ab de Villiers and Virat Kohli, all of whom have not played for some time (AB did feature in the Zimbabwe Test that got over in five sessions). In a press conference Kohli expressed that he has highest regards for his IPL teammate but fails to understand why an India-South Africa series will be a battle between them.

AB is a great friend of mine

“It’s not like only two guys are playing in this series, Kohli said. “AB is a great friend of mine. I respect the way he plays the game and I have always respected him as a person as well. But, when we are playing against each other it’s not that we cross the line with each other, we are just not like that.”

South Africa have a very strong batting line up. Kohli said that getting AB s wicket won t assure a win for India: “It’s just that we want to get AB out and the opposition will want to get me out or Pujara or Rahane. The mindset I don’t think there is any different in terms of the mindset in any of the batsmen in the side. Every player wants to be the stand out batsman and make contributions towards the team winning. Unless you have that as a group, you don’t have too many chances of winning a series. Some people may have brilliant individual performances and then you will be fine with one or two people doing well.”

Virat Kohli is back in the side after being rested for the limited over format against the Sri Lanka series. Ajinkya Rahane is struggling to find form while Rohit Sharma is fighting hard to make a place in the Test side. Reflecting on this, Kohli said that the players are hungry for runs: “Right now, the hunger we have in the group, everyone wants an opportunity to perform and that’s very exciting. I can t speak for the opposition because AB hasn’t played much Test cricket since he played against us and he is coming back after a while. But, look, setting apart all the spice created on the outside, the team that plays well together for a longer period of time has a better chance of winning the series.”