India would look to end their 31-year wait for a Test series win on South African soil with the first Test of the two-match series starting on Boxing Day at Supersport Park in Centurion.Rohit expressed uncertainty about whether a Test series victory would completely alleviate the pain of the World Cup final defeat. However, he acknowledged that such a triumph would be a significant and noteworthy achievement.
“We have never won a series here and it’ll be a big thing if we do it here. I don’t know whether it’ll be able to take away the pain of World Cup defeat. If we are able to achieve it then it’ll be a good thing. Itni mehnat ki hai toh kuch toh banta hai,” Rohit said.
India’s standout performer in the World Cup Mohammed Shami will miss the series due to an ankle injury, a setback that Rohit described as a significant loss for the team.
“Shami will be a big miss for what he has done for us over the years. Someone will fill up (the) hole but it won’t be easy,” he said.
KL Rahul is expected to keep wickets in the first Test but the skipper said it will be is up to wicketkeeper-batter to decide how long he wants to don the gloves in the five-day format.
“I am not sure how long KL Rahul would want to keep wickets but he is keen as of now,” said Rohit.
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India had opportunities to secure victory in the Test series and Rohit expressed that these prospects fill the team with a great deal of excitement and motivation to give their utmost effort.
“It’s a big opportunity for us. We came close the last two times. That gives us a lot of excitement and encouragement to do our best. Our seamers have done well in Australia, England and South Africa. The seamers have actually pull their weight in.
Rohit also admitted that India fell short in certain aspects in the World Cup final that led to their defeat.
“We didn’t do certain things well in the final and that’s why we lost. It is hard but there’s so much happening in life, so much cricket, you’ve got to find the strength. It took me time to come out but you’ve got to move on,” he said.
“We got a lot of encouragement from the outside world and that motivated me personally to get up,” Rohit added.