Virat Kohli termed becoming country's first captain to clinch a Test series victory in Australia as the proudest achievement of his cricketing career and lavished huge praise over his arsenal for ensuring that the longstanding dream finally eventuates in reality.
India ended their 71-year-long wait of clinching success down under and became the only Asian side to win a Test series on those shores, so far.
"When you work hard and prepare for something, as a team we want results. In the last 12 months, the number of tosses we have lost, if you really want to see our performances in them, you will understand what kind of cricket we have played," a delighted Indian skipper said at the press conference on Monday, January 7, as the Sydney Test ended in a draw with no play possible at all on Day 5 due to rain, ensuring a 2-1 series win for his side, "The tosses that we have won, in those games the oppositions haven't come close to us. I am not saying it in arrogance but we believe so much as a team that we can beat anyone anywhere."
"We knew that as a team and eventually when we have won the biggest series in Indian history, we can't express how happy we are that everyone's hard work has reaped rewards in Australia and we did what no other team before us could do. As I said, this is the proudest moment for me since the time I have been playing."
When asked by a lady journalist from Australia whether history now has a bit more relevance to the captain, who had expressed insignificance for it before the start of the tour wanting to focus only the present, Virat intimated, "We all play mind games, don't we. It's obviously a very proud moment, more so because for the last 12 months, we understand what we have gone through on the field. We understand the kind of cricket we have been able to play and I was just mentioning that even after losing the toss, we have been in the competition throughout even when we lost."
"We understand that as a team we were on the right track but the fact that the reward has come in the most historic series in Indian cricket is a cherry on top of the cake and something as I said, in the 10 years that I have played, this is the proudest I have felt."
"I am very happy for the team because it has a young bunch of guys and to have that belief and drive for excellence on a daily basis and to get a reward like this, we definitely have to be happy. Although changing history or creating history is still I would say not what I'm thinking of, it's pure satisfaction of hard work of 12 months and to understand what we believed in has been proven right and regardless of the whole world against you, if you are striving with a good intent, God's going to reward you. So that's what I'm more happy about," he added.
Virat also felt that the learnings taken from South Africa and England came to good use in Australia, where India went with extra protection in their batting unit and employed an attritional approach with an enhanced focus on defence, and said that the hardwork done over the past one year has been finally rewarded with.
"Our journey started in South Africa and it's not only the preparation for this tour but we figures out the things that were required to win in Australia, which was going to be the toughest, we knew it. So we just worked on rectifying the mistakes. We didn't work on feeling good about the things we did well, as a team we focussed on the things we didn't do well and those things don't sound too good but you need to accept them to improve as a team."
"So the fact that we laid out everything on the table and no one took offence to anything and everything accepted that yes we have made a lot of mistake in certain areas and come game time and come crunch situations, we were better than the opposition in those areas."
"So that's the progress of a team, it's pretty basic. But the one thing we always stuck to was good intent and doing things for the right reasons. We always did things to help the team and that's why we have been rewarded with the series win like this," he concluded.
(Inputs from India Today)