Sydney, Virat Kohli lauded his bowling attack once again after India secured a historic first series win on Australian soil, and said the way they went about things was a ‘revelation’ in Indian cricket.
India’s bowlers came away from the series with flying colours – Jasprit Bumrah ended the series as joint-top wicket-taker with 21 wickets, Mohammed Shami claimed 16 scalps, and Kuldeep Yadav returned 5/99 in his only outing.
The performance of the bowlers was one of India’s biggest positives in a year of overseas Tests, and Kohli was once again beaming about them.
“The way the bowlers have dictated terms and dominated, not just this series but the previous two tours as well, it’s something I’ve never seen happen in Indian cricket before,” said Kohli. “Especially playing four bowlers and getting results overseas is something I’ve not experienced playing ten years for the country.”
“Hats off to them. The way they have prepared themselves, the way they work on their fitness levels, and their mindset … they don’t look at a pitch and go, ‘there’s nothing for us’, he said.
“They want to create opportunities, they discuss that, and they dictate the plans to me – which is the most important thing for me. It’s a revelation for Indian cricket, it’s a learning for all the bowlers back home, to learn what they’re doing here and get into that mindset,” said Kohli.
“These guys are going to be looked up to for a long, long time in Indian cricket. They definitely deserve to be here, breaking the record of great West Indian fast bowlers (of aggregate wickets in a calendar year) is no small feat, and it’s something that we as Indians are very proud of,” the Team India captain said.
What was crucial for India’s victory this series, however, was the improvement of their batters. Cheteshwar Pujara scored three centuries in four matches and was the rock in the middle order, and Mayank Agarwal, after making his debut in the third Test in Melbourne, consistently provided starts, with scores of 76, 42 and 77, an ICC report said.
Both came in for a lot of praise from Kohli. “I want to give a special mention to Pujara.He’s been outstanding in this series, especially after the kind of series he had the last time he came here,” said Kohli.
“He’s one guy who is always willing to accept things, and he takes everything in his stride and works on his game. He’s the nicest man around, so we all feel very happy for him,” Kohli said.
“A special mention to Mayank Agarwal as well. He stepped in and batted like a champion at the top of the order, which really made a difference for us. To come in in a Boxing Day Test and straightaway start like that against a high-quality attack in their conditions, it speaks volumes of the mindset and belief that he has,” the India captain said.
“As a batting group, we all contributed at different times, and hence we stand here as the winners. Someone like Rishabh Pant as well, coming into a zone and really dominating attacks. It’s something that augurs well for the team,” he added.
India and Australia will now clash in three one-day internationals, starting in Sydney on January 12.