Kanpur, Sep 21: With India set to play 13 Tests at home this season, starting from tomorrow (September 22), captain Virat Kohli has predicted the phase to be a "career-defining" one for all the players in the current squad.
India will open their 2016-17 home season with the 1st Test against New Zealand at Kanpur's Green Park Stadium on Thursday. This is the opening game of the 3-match series. It is also India's 500th Test. (Ind-NZ photos)
After this rubber, England (5 Tests), Australia (4) and Bangladesh (1) are set to arrive in India. (Here is India's Test squad)
Speaking to reporters ahead of the 1st Test, 27-year-old Kohli said on Wednesday (September 21), that the squad is full of "exciting players" who are "talented".
The captain was reminded of coach Anil Kumble's words yesterday where he said the current squad is capable of achieving great things in the next 5 to 10 years.
"I feel this season is a phase where we can lay a foundation as to where the Test team will go as far as India is concerned. We started off very well (in the West Indies). This team is full of exciting players who are very talented as we all know. The challenge for the last one year or so is to show composure and get the victories. And we have been able to do that. The important thing is to continue the same," Kohli said.
"Very kind words by Anil (Kumble) bhai. Obviously he can see things from a different perspective. As a player involved in the team you might not be able to see things like that. So that is the whole view of what he thinks. That obviously gives us a lot of confidence, that a legend like him believes in the team. So we feed off that and take a lot of confidence.
"This season will be career-defining for all the people in this squad because hardly we have played 17 Test matches regularly. We have always played on and off. We are happy that we can plan our Test cricket, test ourselves and earn our victories wherever the chance comes up. Very exciting times I think," he added.