Indian skipper Virat Kohli called the second Test win over Australia as the best of his captaincy career, comparing his team to a snake which can sting from any direction.
“Yes, this is the best one. I don’t want to say too much as the game panned out as it did. It was quite an emotional game for us,” Kohli said after the 75-run win which helped the Indians draw level in the four-match series.
“Everyone got along well. Talking about the head of the snake, the head did pretty well. It is not just about one individual here. This snake can sting from any direction. Some people need to keep that in mind,” he added, taking a veiled dig at Nathan Lyon’s comment about Kohli being the prized wicket.
Kohli lavished praise on the team’s bowlers for ensuring that Australia’s first innings lead was not too big.
“Yes, our bowlers gave only 47 runs in the first session on day two. They (Australia) could have taken the game away from us because they were 40 without loss. Probably, the momentum changed at that stage. Then we picked up six wickets conceding less than 100 runs I think we picked up from here,” he said.
Kohli said Ravindra Jadeja, who took seven wickets in the match, was “outstanding”.
“Umesh and Ishant supported very well. These are the things you need as a team to change when the tide is going against you. But one thing is we never stop trying. We did not give in and we did not let the opposition roll over us and get a big first innings total,” he said.
“To chase even 120 in the fourth innings will be difficult here. 150 can be a good total to defend. We surprised ourselves by winning 75 runs eventually at the close of the match,” he added.
Kohli said the victory has also made it clear that India does not rely merely on him to do the scoring.
“Our opponents used to think that once I get out, the team will be under pressure. I told the team that everyone has to perform,” he said.
“If my performance is good and the team wins I am always happy. So, our plan was that the focus should be on the team’s performance and let opponents focus on me. This is what exactly happened in this Test match.”
Kohli also brushed aside criticism by Australian wicket-keeping great Ian Healy, who had stated that he was losing respect for the Indian for his on-field conduct.
“We have 1.2 billion people in India and one person doesn’t make a difference,” he said.