Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli birthday
Ravi Shastri and crew wishes Virat Kohli a happy birthday. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

With less than a week for Team India to kick off their bilateral campaign on South African soil in Cape Town on January 5, 2018, adamant head coach Ravi Shastri remarked the players are supposed to assess the conditions well to deliver for the team.

“We look at the pitch and adapt to the conditions. Every game is a home game. It’s as simple as that,” Shastri revealed during his press briefing on Saturday at Newlands in South Africa as the campaign will kick off with the three-match Test series in the first week of next year (2018).

Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli, Newlands, Press Conference, South Africa Vs India
Ravi Shastri focusing on the challenging series with boys in South Africa. Photo Credit: BCCI.

The 55-year-old former Indian cricketer Shastri, who was the successor of Anil Kumble earlier this year in guiding the national side led by Virat Kohli, further remarked the side would consider every game as the home fixture including the Cape Town surface.

“For us, every game is a home game. Even this one in Newlands,” Shastri remarked.

Moreover, the never say die attitude from Shastri saw him speaking about acclimatising the conditions in the African continent while focusing on players training hard before getting ready for the daunting task away from home.

“This team is up for the challenge. The beauty of this team is that it doesn’t matter which opposition,” Shastri maintained.

Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli, Newlands, Press Conference, South Africa Vs India
Ravi Shastri is confident on his boys to deliver in South Africa. Photo Credit: BCCI.

Shastri seemed to be direct as possible with the players while urging them to give a hard fight despite the testing conditions for the number-one ranked Test team after having a prolific home-bound success across formats.

On the other side, Shastri remarked the boys are waiting eagerly to kick off while adding the team has experienced campaigners lined-up.

“This will be a contest. I can sense our players want this Test match to start as soon as possible,” Shastri added.

In his candid response, Shastri stated the team had done well in the recent past and can do best in South Africa when he was asked about do you see the visitors doing good this time around following the splendid season back home.

“If you had asked me four years ago I would have said no. But this team has gained in experience,” Shastri asserted.

Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli, Newlands, Press Conference, South Africa Vs India
Ravi Shastri alongside Team India reached South Africa on December 28. Photo Credit: IANS.

While setting the objections aside, Shastri stated they are ready to face while being hopeful of his wards coming in good stead on the distinct surfaces which would ask plenty of questions for the visitors’ batsmen, as the surfaces are expected to help the fast bowlers and the hosts are ready owing to the gruelling series.

“No excuses, no complaints … Leave all the crap aside and try and compete in the conditions on offer,” Shastri concluded.

The series is comprised of three Tests, six One-day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals, as the tournament will run through January 5 and February 13.

Follow India’s tour to South Africa here: South Vs. India

Tahir Ibn Manzoor

Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Cricket Addictor, who follows cricket like food and he has a great affection for the long-form journalism. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor