Ravi Shastri, the 58-year-old coach of the Indian cricket team, believes the history achieved by Virat Kohli’s India team – which won the nation’s first series in Australia during the tour of 2018/19 – might never be repeated.
It was on January 7, 2019, that Kohli lifted the Border Gavaskar Trophy at the Sydney Cricket Ground as India won a Test series in Australia for the first time in history. They had come close previously but never quite managed to cross the line. But on that day, India achieved what no other Asian team had.
It was a triumph built on Cheteshwar Pujara’s superb defensive effort and a brilliant combined bowling performance by Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Co.
In his foreword for the book ‘India’s 71-Year Test: The Journey to Triumph in Australia’ written by veteran India cricket scribe R Kaushik, Shastri talks about why the win was so important.
“The satisfaction gained in registering India’s first series win in Australia after 71 years of heartbreak was immense,” Shastri says in the book.
“I can’t see Virat’s feat of winning against Australia both at home and away being emulated by another Indian captain for a very long time.
“The great thing about success in Australia is that it doesn’t come easily.
“As a professional sportsperson, you know that when you win the hard way, you command respect.
“Indian teams have done well in Australia since the turn of the (21st) century, but didn’t have the depth of fast-bowling resources.
“That’s why this Indian team commanded respect from the hard-to-please Aussies like few others in the past.”
A quick rewind of the historic series triumph: