London: Virat Kohli is optimistic that India can compete in challenging conditions in Australia despite a crushing 4-1 defeat to England that compounded a disappointing away record in Tests.
England wrapped up victory at the Oval on Tuesday, winning the final match of the series against the number one side in the world by 118 runs late on the fifth day.
But despite the comprehensive nature of the series defeat, Kohli took positives from the tour as he looked forward to Australia, where India have never won a Test series.
"What matters to me is the kind of attitude you play cricket with," the Indian captain said. "We said at the end of the fourth game that we won't throw in the towel and we didn't.
"This kind of series shows you exactly the kind of character of individuals and I see that as an opportunity and not adversity because if you keep winning all the time a lot of faults are swept under the carpet, you don't realise the faults you need to work on."
Kohli, who was top-scorer in the series with 593 runs, said India had created pressure at various times in England but had not capitalised on key moments.
"We were not able to hold that pressure for long enough with the bat and the ball as well, so at crucial stages, we could not keep that pressure on for long, and that is why they took advantage of those situations better than us," he said.
Despite being the world's top-ranked side, India have now won just one of their past nine series outside Asia.
But a number of factors are in India's favour for their Australia tour.
They boast arguably their finest-ever pace attack and will face a team still without the banned Steve Smith and David Warner and with fitness doubts over their attack.
When asked if he was confident about the four-match Test series, which starts in December, Kohli talked of the strides the team has made.
"The progress has been there... we need to recognise when the situation is in our favour and how to solidify that situation even further and make sure that the opposition cannot get back into the game," he said.
"More often than not (against England), we have given the advantage to the opposition rather than them brilliantly turning around a situation."
And Kohli spoke about the need to compete from the first ball of the series.
"We can't warm up into a series because the first Test is always crucial, and we need to make sure we are in the right frame of mind to be able to do all the things right to strike first," he said.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Virat Kohli's struggles and subsequent fight to get back to form has mirrored those of Bangalore's, who defeated GT to remain in playoff contention and now await Delhi Capitals' loss in their last league match against Mumbai Indians
Virat Kohli's 54-ball 73, along with valuable contributions from Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell, helped RCB beat GT by eight wickets to keep their IPL 2022 playoff hopes alive.
One cannot help but wonder whether Royal Challengers Bangalore have fallen into the trap of focusing on Virat Kohli instead of runs and wins.