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India captain Virat Kohli, while satisfied with India's results on the just-concluded South Africa tour, has set his sights on the upcoming England and Australia tours later this year. "I’d say we are still 80 percent," Kohli said of his team's performances in the Test matches in South Africa.
In case you didn't know..
India lost the Test series in South Africa by a 1-2 margin, winning the inconsequential third Test at Johannesburg on a pitch rated “poor” for its dangerous uneven bounce. That was India's only third Test win on South African soil; but they ended up achieving their maiden series win in any format there by first outclassing the hosts 5-1 in the ODIs and then winning the T20s 2-1.
Since India is ranked number 1 in Tests and cannot be overtaken irrespective of other teams' results by the cut-off date of April 1,2018, Kohli received the ICC Test mace after the conclusion of the T20 series in Cape Town.
The heart of the matter
The hungry captain eyed the visits to England and Australia, where India are scheduled to play 5 and 4 Tests respectively, with Australia being the other nation besides South Africa where India are yet to win a Test series. Looking forward to the challenging conditions and the Tests in the two countries, Kohli said, "When we are able to achieve what we want to in the two tours, we’ll be more content. But our 80 percent is also exciting. To be a world-class side, you have to be 100 percent."
India now fly to Sri Lanka for the Nidahas Trophy, a T20 tri-series involving the hosts and Bangladesh beginning on March 6. With the IPL following that, a tight schedule will then see India host Afghanistan for a solitary Test before touring England for a gruelling series of 3 T20s, 3 ODIs and 5 Tests.
To see the dissatisfaction in Kohli's words is a clear indication of the passion which drives him to accomplish even more despite a fairly good result in the Tests in South Africa, where India competed in all three matches. Moreover, he will be keen to improve his personal batting record in England, having jostled to post only 134 runs in the 5 Tests which he played in 2014.Published 26 Feb 2018, 12:17 IST