Rohit Sharma makes ambition clear ahead of South Africa Test series

The skipper wants his unit to be the first one to win a series in RSA

Rohit Sharma during a practice session in Centurion India's Rohit Sharma during a practice session in Centurion | PTI

Rohit Sharma, as leader of the side, wants to achieve what past Indian teams have not in the past 31 years -- a series victory in South Africa -- but even that won't be able to heal the scars of World Cup final defeat.

The skipper wants his unit to be the first one to win a series in the Rainbow Nation in India's ninth attempt since 1992.

"These are very important matches in terms of where we stand as a team. Also to look back that we have never won a series here as well, it's a big opportunity for us to do well here," Rohit said on the eve of the opening Test.

"We came pretty close the last two times when we toured here but again we have come to this place with lot of confidence to try and achieve what nobody (Indian) team has ever achieved in this part of the world," the skipper said, exuding confidence.

So will it act as a balm for World Cup final defeat and he was straight?

"I don't know whether a Test series win in South Africa can be a balm for a World Cup final defeat. I mean World Cup is World Cup. Itni mehnaat ki haai, kuch toh result milein. (We have been working so hard, it's time we get some big results). We all want that," Rohit answered typically in his own sweet style.

However, Mohammed Shami, who played a big role in the 2021 Test win at Centurion, will be missed due to his left heel injury.

"What he has done for our team over the years, obviously it's a big miss but someone will come in place of him, try and fill in that role and it will not be easy but we have confidence," said Rohit.

"Prasidh (Krishna) extracts a lot of bounce due to his height and Mukesh can swing the ball. We were suppose to have a look at pitch today and decide whether we want someone to bowl up or back. We have 75 percent decided and rest 25 percent we would tomorrow," the skipper replied with a wry smile.

South Africa isn't exactly a dream destination for batters and in Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal, the team has three top-order players, playing a Test here for the first time.

"That's a challenge. But at some point, we (him, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul) were also newcomers when we came to South Africa or Australia or England. And it's the same for these guys as well."

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