Team India captain Virat Kohli
on Monday described his team's Test series victory against Australia
as his "biggest achievement yet". This was after India beat Australia
2-1 as the fourth Test match was declared a draw due to bad weather. India had registered their first victory against Australia
on Australian soil in 71 years. The historic series win will give the current team a "different identity", said Kohli.
Similarly, India's top run accumulator in the series Cheteshwar Pujara described the current team as the best he had been a part of — with lethal bowling attack complementing the batting. "It's a great feeling for all of us. We've been working hard to win a series overseas, and winning in Australia has never been easy. This is the best Indian side I have been part of. I would like to congratulate the team," he said.
Eight summers back at the Wankhede, Kohli was the youngest member of a star-studded team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni which lifted the World Cup, but this according to him will remain on "top of the pile".
"By far this is my best achievement. Has to be on top of the pile. When we won the World Cup, I was a young player. I saw the others getting emotional. This series will give us a different identity as a team. What we've been able to achieve is something to be really proud of," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"Our transition started here when I became the captain
for the first time. Only one word to say, I'm proud. To lead these players is an honour and a privilege. They make the captain
look good. Definitely deserve to enjoy this moment," the elated skipper said.
"Want to give a special mention to Pujara. He's one guy always willing to accept things. He's the nicest man around. Special mention to Mayank Agarwal
too. To come in on Boxing Day
and play like that against a high quality attack. Someone like Rishabh as well, coming into his own and dominating attacks," he said.
"We knew once the batsmen score, our bowlers are lethal. The way the bowlers have dictated terms in this series. And not just this one, the previous two tours as well. I've not seen happen in Indian cricket.
They don't look at a pitch and think there's nothing for us. It's a revelation for Indian cricket
and a learning for the other bowlers back home."
"They (pacers) definitely deserve to be here and breaking record of the great West Indian fast bowlers (aggregate wickets in a calender year) is no mean feat," the skipper reminded.
"Definitely, this is just the stepping stone for us. The average age in the team is quite low. The most important thing for us have been belief. Our intent has always been good, and that is to take Indian cricket
forward. We had that in SA and in England, and when you're working in the right direction then God knows you're honest. We want to do the best for Indian cricket, and this is outstanding, but it's just a stepping stone.
"Australia are always going to be competitive. Every team goes through a transition, and their dominance kept world cricket exciting for so many years. I'm sure they'll regroup as a side and play some exciting cricket in the future."
"Celebrations are going to run long into the night I can assure you. Now we've got no more Test cricket and no more alarms in the morning. Crowds have been outstanding. They've never let us feel we are playing away from home. They've come in numbers in every stadium," the skipper signed off.
Heaping hios praise on bowlers, Pujara added: "We've had four bowlers, and it's not easy taking 20 wickets, so credit goes to all our fast bowlers and spinners...It is remarkable."
"I am really pleased with my contribution. As a batsman, I was just getting used to the pace and bounce.
"Apart from that, playing in South Africa
and England has helped me improve my technique. For me, it's all about preparation and I was very well prepared."
"Scoring a ton at Adelaide
and going 1-0 up is what we were aiming for."
"The next Test series is some 6-7 months away, it'll give me some time to prepare. I would like to play white-ball cricket, but Test cricket is my priority, and it always be so."
"Have to tip our hat to India, we know how tough it is to win in India so congrats to Virat and Ravi because it's a huge achievement. They deserve to win the series.
Here is how some of the greatest ambassadors of cricket reacted to the result
"It is not India's fault that this Australian team was without David Warner and Steve Smith. Australia could have handed them shorter bans but obviously it was thought that one-year bans would be good for Australian cricket, that they needed to be made an example for anyone who brings the game into disrepute," Gavaskar said during a post-match show on 'Sony Six'.
"India played the opposition they were presented with and it's a great achievement for them," the former captain.
According to Gavaskar what separates Kohli's men from earlier teams is their world class fitness standards.
"It is not that teams that I was a part of didn't play to win. We also played to win but this team is at a different level in terms of fitness and the captain has shown the way. In our times, we used do our individual routines," recalled Gavaskar.
Bishan Singh Bedi
Kudos to Team Ind fr recovering lot of (sic) lost ground in (sic) Sth Afr/Eng-truly remarkable feat-beating Aust fr 1st time in (sic) their own backyard-2 guys @cheteshwar1 & @Jaspritbumrah93 personified consistency-all playing X1's gr8 resolve/determination helped cross the Rubicon..Congrats All!
Many congratulations #TeamIndia on this historic series win in Australia. It took a complete Team effort from every member of the side and it gives such an immense sense of satisfaction and joy to see what the boys have done on the field. Let's cherish this special series win
Congratulations #TeamIndia for this memorable win. Every cricket lover in India will be very proud of this one and a special effort by every member in the Team to ensure this result.
Proud of you guys Well done Team India for winning the test series in Australia.. congratulations @cheteshwar1 for winning MOS u (sic) been a backbone of indian batting line up.. keep it up @BCCI bowling wise @Jaspritbumrah93 has been phenomenal..love ur work
When was the last time you did something for the first time? Historic 1st Test Series win for India in Australia! Superb effort by #TeamIndia ! It may have ended in rain but that's not going to dampen the celebrations! Proud #INDvAUS
Congratulations to the Indian cricket team for making history, winning in Australia for the 1st time is a proud achievement for all of India. @cheteshwar1 & the whole Indian bowling attack was just unstoppable this series. Was thrilling to watch @Jaspritbumrah93 bowling
Congratulations team on a very well played Test Match series 2-1.
Vinod Rai (CoA chief)
An amazing historic series win for the Indian team. A very comprehensive effort. Every member contributed. I congratulate the captain, the head coach and each player in the team for the remarkable performance put in by them. My heartiest accolades for the performance. Great show.
CK Khanna (acting president, BCCI): I wish to congratulate the Indian team for their series win in Australia and Virat Kohli
for his superb captaincy. He led from the front.
In his congratulatory message to the side, President Kovind lauded the effort in achieving the series win.
"Congratulations to @imVkohli and his team for reaching one of Indian cricket's final frontiers and winning a test series in Australia for the first time. Gritty batting, marvellous fast bowling and a fine team effort has done us proud. Let's make a habit of it!," the President wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Prime Minister Modi called the Test series win a "historic accomplishment".
"A historic cricketing accomplishment in Australia! Congratulations to the Indian Cricket Team for the hard-fought and richly deserved series victory," PM Modi tweeted.
"The series witnessed some memorable performances and solid teamwork. Best wishes for the various games ahead," he wrote.
Coach Ravi Shastri wasn't short of praise for his wards.
"I will tell you how satisfying it is for me. World Cup 1983, World Championship of Cricket 1985 – this is as big, or even bigger, because it is in the truest (Test) format of the game. It's Test cricket, which is meant to be the toughest," Shastri said.
"I said in Melbourne - I think I mentioned people taking pot shots and firing blanks. I wasn't joking there, because I knew how hard this team had worked. When you fire from there, by the time it crosses the southern hemisphere, it's blown away by the wind like a tracer bullet," Shastri told reporters.