There were plenty of hopes from the Virat Kohli led Indian Test team when they toured South Africa earlier this year after winning 9 consecutive Test series. However, the numero uno Test side couldn’t quite prove their mettle in the alien Proteas conditions as they conceded the three-match series 2-1.
Nearly three months after the Test series in South Africa, India batsman Rohit Sharma has said that it is just the general perception that winning at home is an important stepping stone to do well in overseas conditions.
"It's just a general perception of people that we have to win away games. As long as you are playing the game, you have to win everywhere," Sharma said according to Reuters.
"It doesn't matter where you win. People obviously find it more interesting to write something different when it comes to overseas victories. Yes overseas victories are important but you have to win at home first then you win overseas. It is important for us to win every game, in every country. Any country we go to play we have to try and win," he explained.
After being 2-0 down in the Test series, Team India bounced back emphatically in the Johannesburg Test to seal a historic 63-run victory. From then on, India’s winning juggernaut didn’t stop as they secured both the limited-overs series with utmost ease. While the Men in Blue clinched the six-match one-day international series with a stunning margin of 5-1, they won the three-match ODI series 2-1.
"If you look at the South Africa tour, we almost won the first Test match and won the third. We are competing really hard as a team even outside India,” Rohit said.
"Things will fall in place. There are certain things we need to improve as a group. I am sure we can take the learning from what happened in South Africa with us when we go to England," he added.
Following the South Africa trip, Sharma led India in the triumphant Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in the absence of Kohli. Talking about the experience of captaining a young side, the 30-year-old said: "The experience has been ... a great learning curve. Whatever time I have spent captaining for Mumbai, that experience really helped me while leading the national team."
For Rohit, most things are similar when it comes to leading an Indian team or captaining the Mumbai side in the popular Twenty20 league.
"Things are not very different when you lead a franchise or a national team," Rohit said.
"All you need to do is train your mind according to that. The only difference is that players from different countries come and play during the IPL while the national team players are from your own country. Your managing of the players, your strategies, planning remain the same. All you need to change is your behaviour and acknowledgement towards the players when it comes to IPL," he concluded.