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India vs Australia: Shane Warne thanks Virat Kohli and boys for valuing Test cricket

Jasprit Bumrah was the star of the show for India with nine wickets in the game and said that playing Test cricket was his ultimate goal.

cricket Updated: Dec 30, 2018 14:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ind vs aus,india vs australia,shane warne
Indian players celebrate after winning the third Test against Australia in Melbourne.(REUTERS)

Virat Kohli and boys ended 2018 on a high by beating Australia at the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground to not only take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series, but also retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Former Australia spinner Shane Warne was really impressed with the show from the Indian team and thanked Kohli and his men for taking the longest form of the game with pride and enthralling fans across the world with their display.

Taking to Twitter, Warne wrote: “Congrats to the @BCCI @imVkohli & the Indian team for valuing test cricket & for making it your number 1 priority. We love the entertainment of what white ball cricket brings - but the ultimate challenge as a player is test cricket-the best team always wins a 5 day game Bravo 👏🏻”

Jasprit Bumrah was the star of the show with nine wickets in the game and said that playing Test cricket was his ultimate goal. “It is a great feeling. Be it the Boxing day, be it the any other day, I always wanted to play Test cricket and I made my debut against South Africa in January this year. I made my (ODI) debut against Australia in 2016, so to play Test cricket here was a big deal for me. I am really happy to contribute to the team’s success. My aim is to always focus on consistency. We train very hard and we are used to bowling a lot of overs in Ranji Cricket, so the body is doing well. My focus is on the next Test now. It was always a dream to play Test cricket and I was really happy when I debuted in South Africa. I started learning slowly, in England it was a different experience. Coming to Australia has been a different experience as well. The start has been good, and hopefully, I will keep getting better,” he said.

Speaking at the end of the game, Kohli made it clear that this was just the beginning and the team is looking to take giant strides in the new year when India take on Australia in the fourth Test of the series in Sydney. “We are not going to stop here. This (win) will give us more confidence and we will play more positively in Sydney. I think we have been really smart in all the departments in the two matches that we have won. That is the reason we have at least retained the trophy but job is not done yet. It’s not finished at all. We want to win the last Test match as well, if an opportunity comes our way. We don’t want to be complacent. We are all but ready for the final Test match,” he said.

Kohli once again insisted that not reading other people’s opinion has helped this unit. “It’s good thing that I don’t read any comments or what the opinions are. What matters is what we decide inside dressing room as a team unit. We were pretty clear that we want to bat third on this pitch and wanted to get more runs as the pitch was only getting worse. I always felt pitch had enough for the bowlers and a score around 400 will be extremely tough for Australia to chase down,” he said.

The skipper was also high in praise of his fast bowlers. “The credit goes to our fast bowlers, especially Bumrah, he has been brilliant for us. The three seamers have broken a record for the highest number of wickets in a calendar year which is amazing for the pace trio. He (Bumrah) was unlucky not to get wickets in Perth. The way he bowled, it was almost criminal that he didn’t reap the rewards. The team management calmed him down and wickets for him came in bunches in this Test and he won us the Test match here at the MCG. I certainly feel proud as a captain to watch these guys bowling in partnerships, nobody is trying to outdo another guy, it’s all about what the team wants and what the kind of breakthroughs wants. That’s why they are so special. Our fast class cricket is amazing. The tough conditions with the second new ball makes bowlers hard and bowling with the old ball proved to be a difference in this match,” he explained.

Kohli also didn’t miss out on praising the batsmen as Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara played a pivotal role in the first innings for India. “Agarwal was amazing. His composure was excellent. Pujara was brilliant too. It is all about taking pride in your roles which you’re given. We have to play good cricket to be in the position we are in right now. We have never been in this position and now is the time to express ourselves even more,” he said.

First Published: Dec 30, 2018 12:16 IST