MUMBAI: Among all the overseas tours, the upcoming series against South Africa in their own backyard seems to be the most relaxed assignment for the Indian cricketers. Perhaps, that’s what an unbeaten run does to a team. After drubbing Sri Lanka back and forth, thrashing Australia and New Zealand in the ODI series at home; this Indian team exudes confidence.

Before leaving for the high profile series in the wee hours of Thursday, Kohli revealed that there is no pressure as such for the team to prove anything to people. “Playing for the country is the most prestigious thing and an honour. We know what we want as a team. But when you do things in conditions that are more challenging, that gives you more job satisfaction,” he said, adding, “but we have got rid of all mental pressure of touring abroad and wanting to prove to people.”

Kohli, who recently tied the knot with long-time partner Anushka Sharma, dismissed all notions pertaining to pressure and mental block. He laid out a realistic module for the fans in India. “Our duty is to go out there, give our 100 percent effort for the country and get the result that we want to. Sometimes we will get it, sometimes we won’t. It happens at home, it will happen away as well. We need to be realistic as that’s the only way to execute plans.We are going there to just play cricket and it does not matter whether we are in South Africa, Australia, England or India,” he reasoned.

What may work as an advantage for India is the core team being the same since last tour. There hasn’t been any major change to the set up. “These boys have been on the road together for the last four to five years. The nucleus has been the same,” said Ravi Shastri, the head coach.

Kohli, who notched up an unbeaten 104, 213 and 243 against Sri Lanka in his last three appearances stressed how the team came close to winning the Johannesburg Test in their last tour. “We almost won the Test in Jo’burg (Johannesburg), it was a sea-saw game, we lost in Durban, but we played some really good Test cricket. We still want to go back and try to do what we couldn’t do last time around. That’s the kind of challenge you need to take up when you go to places like South Africa, England and Australia because you go there once and you are not going to go there for a long time,” he asserted.

On the other hand, Shastri believes all games are home games. At least, that’s how the approach should be. “You should treat every game like a home match. No matter how the pitch is, if the opposition can take wickets, you can too,” he added.

The first Test starts January 5.