Proud moment, India win their maiden Test series in Australia

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SYDNEY: Indian cricket got its new seminal moment after talismanic Virat Kohli led the country to a maiden series victory on Australian soil, ending a 71-year wait to script a golden chapter in the game's history.

 

The fourth and final Test match at the SCG petered to a barren draw due to inclement weather but not before providing India with a 2-1 series win and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

It is a rare first Down Under for India since Lala Amarnath's side visited the country back in 1947-48 months after independence to face Sir Don Bradman's 'Invincibles'.

"I want to say, I've never been more proud of being part of a team, than this. The culture we have built, our transition began right here, where I took over as captain, and I can't believe that after four years we've won here. Just one word to say, 'proud', to lead this team and it's an honour and privilege. The boys make the captain look good," said Virat Kohli.

"This is history and a terrific moment for Indian cricket," said country's greatest opener Sunil Gavaskar.

Things turned out to be a bit of anti-climactic in the end as India had a fair chance of adding insult to the injury with a 3-1 victory margin as they got the home team to follow-on in their den for the first time in 30 years after scoring 622 in their only innings.

While Australian batting was severely handicapped due to the suspensions of their premier batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner but it can take nothing away from the heady achievement of Kohli's men, who have conquered an unchartered frontier with a lion-hearted display.

While skipper Kohli hit the best hundred of the series in terms of sheer class on a difficult Perth Stadium track, the unflappable Cheteshwar Pujara (521) and the unconventional Jasprit Bumrah (21 wickets) were the heroes of the memorable 'first'.

Rishabh Pant with 350 runs and a sparkling hundred at the SCG with a record number of dismissals in an away series has now established himself as India's No 1 wicketkeeper in the Test format.

For Kohli, this series was more about his leadership choices rather than his insane batting efforts which was comparatively muted by his lofty standards.

His bowling changes were spot on and while team selection in Perth came under a scanner, no one can question the intent of the Indian skipper, who has shown that he only plays to win a Test match.

No other Asian captain leave alone Indian captain has won four away Test matches in South Africa, England and Australia in a single calendar year.

While India now gears up to switch format, Kohli's biggest takeaway will be the confidence before they start their preparations for the ODI World Cup.

 

With inputs from PTI

 

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