Virat Kohli’s India cricket team created history by winning the Boxing Day Test for the first time as they defeated Australia by 137 runs to take a historic 2-1 series lead in the four-match series. Kohli’s side won two Tests in a series Down Under for the first time since 1977/78 and they now have the chance to win a Test series Down Under for the first time ever. Jasprit Bumrah was the star with nine wickets, including his career-best haul of 6/33 as India dominated the hosts on a difficult wicket. Speaking in the post-match presentation and in the press conference, Kohli reiterated the fact that India cannot afford to be complacent heading into the Test in Sydney.
“We are not going to stop here. This (win) will give us more confidence and we will play more positively in Sydney. Nothing is to going to distract us from wanting us to winning that last Test match. We have never been in this position and now is the time to express ourselves even more. We have at least retained the trophy but the job is not done yet. It's not finished at all. We don't want to be complacent,” Kohli said.
The Indian skipper raised a few eyebrows when he did not declare with India 292 runs ahead but Kohli insisted that the decision to bat again was made up before. “We were pretty clear that we wanted to bat third on this pitch and wanted to get more runs as the pitch was only getting worse. I always felt the pitch had enough for the bowlers and a score around 400 will be extremely tough,” Kohli said.
Great first-class structure
In both the Tests in which India have won, there have been contributions from everyone. Cheteshwar Pujara’s centuries in Adelaide and Perth were vital while the bowling attack has taken all 60 wickets to fall in the series. There have been key contributions from everyone. In an apparent jibe at Kerry O’Keefe, who termed Mayank Agarwal’s triple century in the Ranji Trophy as scoring against a ‘Railways canteen staff’ attack, he praised India’s domestic structure.
“Our first class cricket structure is amazing. The tough conditions with the new ball makes bowlers hard and bowling with the old ball proved to be a difference in this match. Mayank Agarwal was amazing, he showed great character. His composure was excellent. Pujara was brilliant too,” Kohli said.
Bumrah’s work ethic brilliant
The Gujarat pacer has been India’s gun pacer in this series, taking 20 wickets, including nine in the Melbourne Test. Bumrah has been the shining star in all of India’s overseas wins in 2018, be it Johannesburg, Trent Bridge and Adelaide. On a green wicket in Perth, Bumrah surprisingly did not pick up many wickets but Kohli said he was just unlucky in one game and praised the youngster’s work ethic.
“If there was a pitch like Perth, I wouldn't want to face Jasprit Bumrah to be honest because if he gets on a roll, he can really crank it up. The way he bowls is so much more different to anyone and I think he realizes that more than the batsmen. That's why he is so confident about his skills. The mindset he (Bumrah) has is what separates him from anyone else in the world right now. He looks at the pitch and he doesn't think it's a hard toil on these wickets. He thinks how can I take make a breakthrough for the team and your mindset separates you from the rest. He is as strong headed as I have seen anyone in the past and that's the key to his success, and that's what I have seen in the past 12 months. The way he has matured and the areas he has bowled so quickly in his Test career I think it's a scary sign for the batsmen around the world,” Kohli said.