Cricket - Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli catches up on his phone on touching down in Johannesburg on Thursday. Image Credit: Twitter/BCCI

Kolkata: Virat Kohli & Co will be looking to steer clear of the distraction over the capatincy row and focus on the job at hand as they landed in Johannesburg for the three-match series, starting with a Boxing Day Test from December 26 in Centurion. The three-Test series will be followed by a ODI series.

“Touchdown South Africa,” tweeted the BCCI as they on Thursday shared pictures of the Indian squad at the Johannesburg airport.

Earlier in the day, the Indian cricket board shared pictures of team members - Jasprit Bumrah, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur - from the flight before leaving for Johannesburg.


The onus will be on India to end their duck of a Test series win in South Africa, where they have won only three of the 20 Tests played so far. One of these three wins, however, came under challenging conditions in Johannesburg while the series also saw the genesis of Bumrah as a red ball bowler - a move which is credited to the Kohli-Ravi Shastri combine.

Back in India, there were no more drama though the pressure kept mounting on the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly to reply to Kohli’s tirade that he was never asked by the board to reconsider his decision about stepping down from the T20 captaincy. Ganguly, it may be recalled, had justified the axe on Kohli from ODI captaincy by saying that once Kohli made up his mind on relinquishing the T20 leadership, the board went ahead with Rohit Sharma as the overall white ball captain.

“I have got nothing to say. We will deal with it appropriately, leave it to the BCCI,” Ganguly told mediapersons in Kolkata.

India’s squad for South Africa Tests: Virat Kohli (Captain), Priyank Panchal, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj.