Mercilessly, as ruling India confront South Africa
India will be ruthless when confront with a new-looking South Africa in its lair, and Captain Virat Kohli warned on Saturday when the two sides contested the first T20 in Dharamsala.
Fresh out of a dominant show against the West Indies in the Caribbean, India is playing its first home series after the World Cup in England earlier this year.
Virat Kohli at the pre-match press conference in the Himalayan city said
We want to win all games, whether at home or away, in any format; We want to go out, play our best cricket and win.
The South African side seeks to regroup after a disastrous World Cup where they eliminated in the league stage.
The two teams will close their horns in a series of three tests after three international T20s.
Virat Kohli, 30-years-old, also had to answer a series of questions about the future of senior hitter Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has left out of the T20 team.
The young Rishabh Pant was chosen instead with the selectors looking to prepare him as the team’s first-choice wicketkeeper.
Kohli had sparked new rumours about Dhoni’s future on Thursday by tweeting a photo of them that many on social media interpreted as a tribute to the highest-ranking player.
However, on Saturday, Kohli said he had casually uploaded the photo and denied any hidden meaning.
“I had nothing on my mind. I was sitting at home, and I usually took a picture, and it became news,” Kohli said. “There was nothing further from my imagination when posting that image on social media.”
When asked if Dhoni, 38, would be considered for next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, Kohli did not respond directly.
“As long as he’s available and continues to play, he’ll be precious,” he said.
South African batter David Miller said Kock’s revamped team under Quinton had quite a few new faces, but they were ready for the Indian challenge.
“We have much energy between the team,” Miller said. “There are many players who have played much cricket, on the A-side and in the country. So, we all have a lot, many experiences in every department and it’s a great springboard.”
South Africa ranks third in T20 Internationals, one rung ahead of India.