The odds were against India the last time they toured Sri Lanka in 2015, but Virat Kohli led the inexperienced side to a comeback win in the test series which changed the team’s mindset, the captain said on Wednesday.
India lost the first of the three-test series against their South Asian neighbours but won the next two matches. They have since gone on to beat West Indies away and registered home victories against South Africa, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia. Kohli’s men are currently ranked number one in the world.
India arrived in Sri Lanka in 2015 having lost test series in South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia, during which long-term captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni retired from the format, handing over the reins to Kohli.
The 28-year-old couldn’t lead India to a win in a one-off test against Bangladesh, and criticism of the team reached its nadir after the loss in the first test against Sri Lanka.
India’s preparation has been less than ideal this time, too, with head coach Anil Kumble stepping down last month citing a breakdown in his relationship with skipper Kohli.
Former all-rounder Ravi Shastri was named as head coach last week, while Bharat Arun was appointed bowling coach and Sanjay Bangar was named assistant coach, following Shastri’s recommendations.