Shouts of "India" pierced the afternoon somnolence in the West Bengal capital as jubilant cricket fans took to the streets soon after India defeated Australia by 72 runs at Perth on Saturday to keep alive the series that the hosts now lead 2-1.
"Australia has been given a befitting reply. We hope their arrogance will now abate. The Indians proved they can," said Subrata Bose, as cricket buffs brought out victory processions and beat drums and played with 'gulal' on the streets of a city where cricket emotions often defy logic and sanity.
"I think what is most important is the revenge factor. After so much controversy, we played and showed them that we can beat them in their own soil ignominiously," said a resident of Kalighat, his face smeared with gulal.
With placards reading "Indian tigers start roaring" and "jyogyo jawab" (Befitting Reply) in Bengali, the cricket buffs marched through the lanes and by-lanes of Kolkata beating drums.
Crackers were burst and jubilant fans called up TV stations to register their ecstasy.
"I think it is a spectacular captaincy by Anil Kumble. He knows when to play attacking cricket and when to play defensive," said Kolkata's upcoming cricketer Ranadeb Bose.
Bose, who dubbed the win as "magnificent", said the match was also significant for Man of the Match Irfan Pathan who made a grand comeback.
"He was not playing too well but see how he improved himself with training and made a great comeback. He was rewarded for his hard work," Bose felt.
Chasing 413 runs, Australia were all out for 340 at the Western Australian Cricket Association ground in Perth. They had made 212 in their first innings while India scored 330 and 294 in the two innings. This was Australia's first defeat at home after 25 Tests.