India vs Australia: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulates Kohli & boys after historic series win
India coach Ravi Shastri has compared India’s series win in Australia to the 1983 World Cup victory against the West Indies.Updated: Jan 08, 2019 12:41 IST
Team India not only registered their maiden series win in Australia on Monday, but also Virat Kohli became the first Asian captain to win a series Down Under. This saw Pakistan Prime Minister and former skipper Imran Khan take to social media to congratulate the Indian team on a fine performance in the four-Test series. This was the first time in 71 years that India won a series in Australia, having first toured in 1947-48.
Taking to Twitter, Imran wrote: “Congratulations to Virat Kohli and the Indian cricket team for the first ever win by a subcontinent team in a test series in Australia.”
Congratulations to Virat Kohli and the Indian cricket team for the first ever win by a subcontinent team in a test series in Australia— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 8, 2019
Speaking about the win, skipper Kohli had said: “I see this series as a stepping stone for this team to inspire the next lot of Test cricketers.
“To be passionate for Test cricket firstly. When Indian cricket respects Test cricket we know the fans are going to come in and watch Test cricket. In a world where a lot of people want the easy stuff, matches that finish in the evening, I think it is important to spread that message of Test cricket.
“We definitely want to build on this and always promote the message of test cricket being the most important and the most valued format of the game, which it rightfully is. From where I see this is our vision for Indian cricket.”
Kohli initially refused to single out any individual performances in the spirit of the team ethic but when he did yield, it was not Man of the Series Pujara he chose to laud but seamers Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
“If your fast bowlers are happy and fighting as a team, you can win anywhere in the world and you have a chance to beat any side in the world anywhere,” he said.
“In the past 12 months I would rate their contribution as far above all the batsmen that have contributed this season.”
Kohli, of course, played his own part in the success with a century in Adelaide and, less skillfully but no less importantly, by winning three of the four tosses.
The lessons learned from series defeats in South Africa and England had laid the groundwork for the success in Australia, he said, and the failures on those tours made this triumph all the sweeter.
“It is definitely more special purely because of the fact that we have really badly wanted to win a series away from home,” he added.
“So having stuck to our tasks and executed what we wanted and having got the result we, as a team, feel complete.”
Coach Ravi Shastri went a step further and said: “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.”
First Published: Jan 08, 2019 12:40 IST