Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who missed the Dharamsala Test due to a shoulder injury, on Tuesday expressed his pleasure over his side’s 2-1 Test series win against Australia, saying that it is their best series win so far.
Describing the four-match series triumph against Australia as ‘unbelievable’, Kohli also hailed the Steve Smith-led side for their fighting spirit and maturity.
“Unbelievable. This is our best series win so far. I thought England was intense, but the way Australia gave us a fight, it was amazing on their part, but our guys kept bouncing back. Shows the character and maturity. Ajinkya led the team really well. The changes we made in our fitness regime have paid off. Guys have been able to sustain the performance throughout the season. In the past, we have had sessions where we have given away the game easily. Not this season. Been a team season. Not one or two individuals who have stood out. Unbelievable, the kind of fitness and desire the fast bowlers have shown, it has been game-changing,” Kohli said in a post-match presentation.
Talking about his injury, the swashbuckling batsman said that he would take few more weeks to be back in action.
“Still a few weeks to go till I can be 100 percent on the field. You have to take it in your stride and move forward,” he added.
Australian captain Steve Smith also branded the series as ‘magnificent’ before crediting the Indian side for their fantastic performance.
“Magnificent series.One of the best I have been a part of. Credit to India, they are a fantastic cricket side, particularly in their backyard. If you give them a sniff, they will take that. For Australia, this is the toughest conditions for us. To challenge them so much, I am proud. The middle session yesterday, when you lose five for 70, you put yourself behind. Credit to India. Umesh was fantastic. They have all been fantastic. A lot of people wrote us off,” Smith said.
Smith insisted that he was proud of the way his side competed throughout the series and avoided a 0-4 whitewash.
“They said it was going to be a 4-0 whitewash.I am proud of the way we have competed. We have probably let a few moments slip. Against India you can’t do that. What an amazing ground. The wicket was a good one. Pace and bounce, that’s what we like. It suited spinners as well. If you are willing to bat time, you can get runs. I have been pretty intense throughout this series. I really wanted to do well for the team. At times I have been in my own bubble and have let my emotions slip. I apologise for that,” he added.
Opener K L Rahul struck his sixth half-century of the series while skipper Ajinkya Rahane played some phenomenal strokes as India hammered Australia by eight wickets on day four of the fourth and final Test to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Himachal Pradesh Association Stadium (HPCA).
Resuming at yesterday’s score of 19-0, Rahul smashed nine boundaries in his 51-run knock besides stitching a 60-run stand with Rahane (38 off 27 balls) to help India reach the 106-run target on Day Four in less than a session.
Earlier, an exemplary bowling performance by India saw Australia bowl out in their second innings for 137, leaving the home side a modest target of 106 to win the match and the series.
While Jadeja, Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin bagged three wickets each, Bhuvneshwar Kumar also chipped in with a wicket.
Jadeja was declared ‘Man of the Match’ as well as ‘Man of the series’ for his brilliant contribution with both bat and ball throughout the four-match Test series against the Steve Smith-led side.