Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who headed back home to India post the Adelaide debacle, conceded that he was ‘extremely anxious’ prior to the second Test, but revealed that he was delighted by the fight shown by the boys. Kohli further expressed delight over live crowds returning to Indian grounds.
India were staring down the barrel after stooping to an all-time low in Adelaide, getting bowled out for their lowest ever Test total, but things were expected to worsen post the departure of their skipper. Virat Kohli left Australia post the first Test to attend the birth of his first child, and a leader-less, wounded Indian side were expected to be rolled over by the mighty Aussies.
What unfolded, however, was the polar opposite of the expected outcome as after outplaying Australia in Melbourne to level the series, India, through sheer mental strength, got the better of the hosts in the final to Tests to take the series 2-1. Kohli, from India, watched the final three Tests through television with his hands tied, and the Indian skipper admitted that he was extremely nervous and anxious prior to the commencement of the Boxing Day encounter.
“I’ll be very honest, before the Melbourne Test I was a bit anxious. But the way the whole team played in Melbourne, I was cheering every ball and jumping up and down on the couch every now and then as well,” Kohli said in a video posted by Bcci.tv.
More than the fact that India beat Australia 2-1, it was how they achieved the victory which made the story remarkable. By the time the final Test beckoned, India had lost more than half their side to injury and they pretty much breached fortress Gabba with a bunch of net bowlers. Taking the context of the victory into account, Kohli described the heist Down Under as the ‘most special’ series win.
“I think if you put things into perspective in terms of the experience in the squad and how much cricket our boys had played, particularly against an opposition that had played way more, the odds were stacked up against us after Adelaide. The kind of character and belief shown by the whole squad - I don’t think any victory has been more special than this.”
The England Tests, which kick-started today, marked the return of international cricket to India after one long year and more good news will be coming the country’s way in a week’s time as live crowds will return to stadiums from the second Test in Chennai. Kohli reckoned the Indian government and BCCI have done a great job in restarting the sport and further expressed excitement over the return of live crowds.
“India was probably the only country left to host international cricket; it was just a matter of time. Things have been brought under control to a large extent; great work has been done. Now when we go to the practice sessions in our bubble here in India, we feel safe. We feel no uncertainty at all."
“Things are moving along nicely. Hopefully there will be a few spectators in the coming games as well. It will be a great thing for the country, for the cricket fans and for us the players as well.“