Team India clinched a historic first-ever Test series in Australia on Monday with a 2-1 victory after the fourth and final Test in Sydney was abandoned due to rain. By virtue of this series triumph, Virat Kohli and company also stamped their authority as a No.1 Test side in the world.
Elated with the momentous accomplishment, former India captain and coach Anil Kumble has said that Kohli and his men richly deserve all the credit for rewriting the history books down under.
“I mean we’ve never achieved that. There were a couple of times when it was very close, 2003/04 Australia drew the series & in 2007/08. There’s always ifs & buts regarding the Sydney Test match, but otherwise we came pretty close but this team richly deserves all the credit for beating Australia,” Kumble told CricketNext.
He also hailed young opener Mayank Agarwal for walking into the team and making his presence felt from the outset.
“Credit should be given to Mayank Agarwal as well. Who came in, has not played in Australia before, just walked into the team & made his presence felt. You know the opening stand, India has had some issues, especially in the first two Test matches. So Mayank Agarwal’s contribution, both in Melbourne & of course in Sydney was important,” he further added.
Wins in the first Test in Adelaide and third Test in Melbourne ensured that India could not lose the four-match series while their batsmen, led by Cheteshwar Pujara’s herculean 193, batted Australia out of the fourth Test with a daunting first innings total of 622/7 (declared).
Kumble was all praise for India’s domestic setup for producing complete players who seem to be ready for the pressure of Test cricket.
“I think that’s because of the system that is available here, IPL certainly puts every player under pressure, immense pressure, although it’s totally different to Test cricket. The India A tours, I think all these cricketers that you have mentioned have spent enough time on India A tours & with Rahul Dravid, I think that makes a big difference as well,” the former leg-spinner said.
Pujara, who was adjudged Man-of-the-Series for his 521 runs in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, received special praise from Kumble.
“I know there are a lot of people still talking about strike rates, hopefully after this performance of Pujara everybody will shut up talking about the strike rates because it is not about the strike rates, it is about getting the runs doing the job for the team, that is exactly what Pujara does.” Kumble concluded.