Indian captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri received honorary membership of the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday. India scored 622 for the seven wickets in the first innings of the final Test that was held at the iconic stadium. It was their second-highest total in the stadium and although it was washed out, the match confirmed India’s series win, their first ever on Australian soil in Test cricket.
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) 11 January 2019
“The SCG congratulates Team India for securing its first Test series win on Australian soil. It is wonderful to see the world’s largest cricketing nation putting its focus firmly on Test cricket – a step that will reinforce the pre-eminence of Tests in the global cricketing landscape,” SCG Chairman Tony Shepherd was quoted as saying on their official website.
Apart from Kohli and Shastri, the only other international cricketers to be granted the honorary membership of the SCG are iconic Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara of the West Indies.
“Virat and Ravi have been at the forefront of that and Test cricket is well served having both placing such significance on the five-day format,” Shepherd added. Kohli has reiterated his love for Test cricket on various instances throughout India’s tours of England and Australia while Ravi Shastri ranked the series win bigger than the 1983 World Cup and the 1985 World Championship for him on a personal level simply because it came in the longest format of the game.
Taking to Twitter Shastri said: “Great honour and very humbling to get the honorary life membership of the @scg along with @imVkohli #TeamIndia #AUSvIND.”
India are the number 1 ranked Test team in the world but they are trailing England in the ODI rankings. They have a chance to cut the gap at the top of the table by beating an Australian side still grappling with after effects of the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal.