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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

India vs Australia: Virat Kohli ‘honoured and privileged’ to lead current crop of talent

The India skipper did not forget to mention the efforts of Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal. He also spoke about how the Indian bowlers have made this win all the more special.

cricket Updated: Jan 07, 2019 09:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India skipper Virat Kohli celebrates the fall of a Australia wicket in Sydney.
India skipper Virat Kohli celebrates the fall of a Australia wicket in Sydney.(AFP)
         

A dominant India won a historic first-ever series in Australia on Monday with a 2-1 victory after play in the fourth and final Test in Sydney was abandoned due to rain on the fifth afternoon. It is the first time they have managed the feat since they began touring Australia in 1947-48 and skipper Virat Kohli said that he was proud to lead this group of players who have thrived to do well on foreign shores.

“Firstly I want to say, I’ve never been more proud of a team than this one. The culture we’ve been able to build over the last 12 months. Our transition started here when I became the captain for the first time. Only one word to say, I’m proud. To lead these players is an honour and a privilege. They make the captain look good. Definitely deserve to enjoy this moment. By far this is my best achievement. Has to be on top of the pile,” he said.

Commenting on how this ranks with the 2011 World Cup win, Kohli said: “When we won the World Cup, I was a young player. I saw the others getting emotional. This series will give us a different identity as a team. What we’ve been able to achieve is something to be really proud of. That’s something that we spoke about, just wanted to go back to basics, not be flamboyant.”

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Kohli did not forget to mention the efforts of Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal. “Want to give a special mention to Pujara. He’s one guy always willing to accept things. He’s the nicest man around. Special mention to Mayank Agarwal too. To come in on Boxing Day and play like that against a high quality attack. Someone like Rishabh as well, coming into his own and dominating attacks,” he said.

Kohli also spoke about how the Indian bowlers have made this win all the more special. “We knew once the batsmen score, our bowlers are lethal. The way the bowlers have dictated terms in this series. And not just this one, the previous two tours as well. I’ve not seen happen in Indian cricket. They don’t look at a pitch and think there’s nothing for us. It’s a revelation for Indian cricket and a learning for the other bowlers back home. They definitely deserve to be here and breaking record of the great West Indian fast bowlers is no mean feat,” he smiled.

But the foot shall remain on the pedal warned Kohli. “Definitely, this is just the stepping stone for us. The average age in the team is quite low. The most important thing for us have been belief. Our intent has always been good, and that is to take Indian cricket forward. Australia are always going to be a very competitive side. Every team goes through transition. I wish Tim and the management all the very best. We all deserve to enjoy. Celebrations are going to run long into the night I can assure you. Now we’ve got no more Test cricket and no more alarms in the morning. Crowds have been outstanding. They’ve never let us feel we are playing away from home. They’ve come in numbers in every stadium,” he signed off.

First Published: Jan 07, 2019 09:43 IST

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