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India's true tests still to come: Ganguly

Former skipper says Kohli's men will face their biggest challenges over next 18 months with tours outside Asia

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has praised the current national team's recent achievements but believes their real tests will come when they venture away from the subcontinent.

India thrashed Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the first Test in Galle on Sunday to continue their fine recent Test form; over the past 12 months, they have won home series against Australia (2-1), Bangladesh (1-0), England (4-0) and New Zealand (3-0).

Report, highlights: India complete mauling in Galle

Their only away series since the beginning of 2016 came in the Caribbean, Virat Kohli's team enjoying a 2-0 success in the four-match series.

"India are perfectly balanced with so much firepower in their batting, bowling and fielding," Ganguly told India Today.

"The last two years they have been wonderful, especially away from home. Under Anil (Kumble, former coach) they won everything in the West Indies and then came the home season.

"I feel India won't be challenged in these conditions.

"Kohli is absolutely right when he said in the post-match ceremony that they have been clinical in their performance."

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While Ganguly was lavish with his praise, he tempered his optimism with a caveat regarding the quality of their current opponents, as well as upcoming tours to stronger Test nations.

"Virat hasn't been tested yet – Sri Lanka is probably not the strongest Test side at the moment," he said.

"For me, (for) the fans as well as for Virat Kohli himself, the yardstick will be how well his side performs in South Africa, Australia and England."

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India are set to tour South Africa between November and January, though the details of that series are vague given they are also supposed to be hosting Sri Lanka in that time.

The future tours program indicates Kohli's side is also set to tour England for five Tests, five ODIs and a one-off T20I in June-August 2018, before heading to Australia for a four-Test series in the summer of 2018-19.

Ganguly also dismissed any concerns over Kohli's form against Australia in February-March, when he made 46 runs in three Tests at 9.20.

"I don't consider it a lean patch as he only struggled in one series," he said. "If you look at the Champions Trophy (258 runs at 129) and the one-day series in West Indies (283 runs at 70.75), he has been in good touch."

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