India avenged its last year's ODI series defeat at home to Australia by winning the rubber 2-1 this time and the fact that veterans Steve Smith, David Warner were present in the opposition line-up made the result even more satisfying, captain Virat Kohli said.
With the series levelled 1-1 going into the final game in Bangalore on Sunday (January 19), India pulled off its best performance, winning the match by seven wickets, with Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja delivering the stand-out spells, vice-captain Rohit Sharma scoring a century and Kohli making another fifty.
"Australia were even better than last time," the skipper said at the post-match presentation ceremony. "There's Steve (Smith), David (Warner) and Marnus (Labuschagne). A quality bowling attack and they were really intense in the field too. We lost the last three in the last series, and coming back and winning the last two games after losing the first one, is very satisfying."
"We just want to go upwards and onwards. Getting one back given that we lost the series at home last year is really satisfying."
In absence of Shikhar Dhawan, who wasn't able to bat after hurting his shoulder in the first half, Rohit and Kohli took on the responsibility to chased down the difficult 287-run target. "We are quite experienced - Rohit and I - and we were short of Shikhar's experience," Kohli said. "We got a good start. We expect openers of the quality of Rohit and KL to give us starts like that. When KL got out it was a tricky situation. The ball was gripping and turning a bit, and this is where experience comes in."
"We spoke of stringing together a partnership and all Australia want are wickets and if we don't give them wickets we can chase 7-8 runs an over later on. We have that belief in our skill. Rohit played beautifully today, anchored the innings before I took over."
"It's how we have played in the last 4-5 years. It's important to make sure one guy continues to bat till the end and takes us over the line. More important was the comprehensive win," he added.
(Inputs from PTI)