India cricket coach Rav Shastri knows the SA conditions well. Pic: India Cricket

MUMBAI – India's coach Ravi Shastri is a seasoned campaigner and knows how difficult it can be for touring teams in South Africa.

India has never won a series in South Africa prompting Shastri to tell his team that conditions will be tough ahead of their arrival on Friday - but urging them to embrace the challenge.

India will play South Africa in three Tests, five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). The first Test begins on January 5. 

Despite the tough schedule, Shastri backed his side to perform in the testing conditions. 

“The conditions will be testing, but this tour and the rest of 2018 will define this Indian cricket team, and the whole team is aware of that. 

“With tours of South Africa, Australia and England coming up in the next year-and-a-half, all I can say is this will be a better cricket team after those 18 months,” Shastri told reporters before leaving India.

“I think, like Virat (Kohli) said, all the guys are looking forward to the tour. You know it’s going to be a challenge, we all know, how tough a tour South Africa is but that’s the beauty of cricket, wanting challenges and embracing it. 

“We toured Australia three years ago, and we did a pretty good job. We also toured Sri Lanka in 2015, had some great tracks, especially the last two Test matches, where the ball seamed and swung. 

“So we are prepared. These boys have been on the road together for the last four to five years so that should help in a big way.” 

African News Agency (ANA)

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