Johannesburg: Star South African batsman AB De Villiers said that the Indian team has changed over the years and will try to create history when they are led by a new Virat Kohli in the series starting early next year.
India are yet to win a Test series in South Africa with their best finish being a 1-1 draw in the 2010-2011 tour. As a matter of fact, AB himself hasn’t played Test cricket for quite a while now, having last played against England in 2016, before being down with injury and after which he took a break.
The right-hander would return to the team when South Africa take on Zimbabwe in the one-off Test match in Tuesday.
The 33-year-old felt that it would be a challenge to face a young Indian side under Kohli.
“I’m very excited that they (India) are going to be touring in South Africa. I have not played against India for a while now, so it’s going to be a really good series,” said de Villiers, as quoted by ‘Sunday Times’.
“It will be a great challenge. They (India) are a team that’s young and determined. They have played a lot better over the last few series we’ve played here compared to the 90s.”
AB, who is also Kohli’s teammate while playing in the IPL for the Royal Challengers Bangalore said that the Indian is one of the best captains in world cricket at the moment.
“I’d say Virat is one of the best captains at the moment, the most improved – there’s a big change from when I first saw him captaining to now,” he said.
He further added, “We know all about Virat Kohli, how determined he is as captain; he’ll definitely come here trying to win and to make history.”
The Proteas batsman didn’t have a good outing the last time he played Test cricket as he bagged a pair of ducks, first being dismissed by Stuart Broad and then by James Anderson. As a matter of fact, he couldn’t open his account in the last three innings he played in the longest format.
But De Villiers said that his motivation to return to Test cricket was to help South Africa become the number one ranked Test side once again. South Africa can reclaim the number one spot if they have successful home series’ against Zimbabwe, India and Australia.
He also praised his former schoolmate Faf Du Plessis’ captaincy skills and said that the latter has the qualities of becoming South Africa’s best ever captain.
“I think that Faf has all the credentials to make a really successful captain. I believe he has the potential to become the best captain South Africa has seen so far,” he said.