Captain Virat Kohli was full of praise for his bowlers as India scripted history on Monday in Adelaide by winning the first Test of a series in Australia for the first time.
India’s bowlers toiled hard for nearly 220 overs in both innings put together as the visitors won a thrilling game by 31 runs.
“Super proud (of the bowlers) to have four bowlers and take 20 wickets to win a Test match is an outstanding feat, something which we haven’t done in the past in Australia. They are at their peak, all of them together,” Kohli said after the match.
With the pressure on the Indian batsmen to back up what many consider to be the best bowling unit to have travelled to Australia, Kohli had praise for Cheteshwar Pujara (player of the match) and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane.
“This is an opportunity for us as batsmen to put in good performances and we’ll be gunning for results in every Test match. As I have said it’s upto our batsmen to step up in this series,” said Kohli. “Pujara and Rahane showed that in particular for us and collectively we were the better team and we deserved to win.”
Kohli called Pujara’s contribution — a century in the first innings and half century in the second — as “priceless.”
“We were down and out at lunch on day one. I think his belief, grit and determination kept us in the game, and he brought us back into the match beautifully. The game was poised equally on day two, we knew we had runs on the board and with the opposition playing at home would have been a bit tentative. We cashed in on that. Any lead would have been gold, and we built on that. Couple of partnerships in the second innings, especially Pujara and Rahane, when they batted together like that, it gave us the safety to go out there and take 10 wickets again,” he added.
Kohli admitted the last few wickets were hard to come by and nerves were creeping in.
“These things happen in Test cricket. Important to stay calm. They gave it a go, tried their best and we executed our plans to get that wicket. I wasn’t as cool as ice but you try not to show it. In the last overs, Bumrah was getting a bit flustered and I just told him it was a matter of one good ball, and we got that win in the end,” he said.