India created history at the Adelaide Oval on Monday when they defeated Australia in the opening Test by 31 runs.
India crushed a lower-order insurrection to secure a nerve-jangling victory, raising the South Asian nation’s hopes of a breakthrough series win Down Under.
Team India coach Ravi Shastri was a happy man after India’s first win in a Test series-opener in Australia.
“Very, very happy because it was a tough Test match this. The boys showed patience, discipline today. They stuck to their task in pretty good batting conditions and in the end we won the Test match by 31 runs,” Shastri told Sony after the end of the match.
When asked about what the win means for the team, Shastri said, “We lost the first Test in England by 31, lost the first Test in South Africa by 60-70, so this is a very good feeling for the boys to come out on top.”
The tourists dispatched Australia’s last four batsmen in the middle session of the final day at Adelaide Oval to send India’s travelling fans into raptures in the sparse fifth day crowd.
Faced with a docile wicket and tenacious tail-end slogging, Virat Kohli’s team bowled with patience and determination to claim India’s first win in the country since Anil Kumble’s men beat a Ricky Ponting-led Australia by 72 runs in Perth in 2008.
Ravichandran Ashwin took the final wicket of Josh Hazlewood for 13 to dismiss Australia for 291, with Nathan Lyon unbeaten on 38 after a valiant chase of 323 for victory.
The Indian men’s cricket team coach though didn’t want to gloss over the cracks in euphoria of victory. He lauded the Indian batsmen for learning from their mistakes, especially Pujara for his superhuman effort with the bat.
“When you get off to a good start, there’s belief. Even though we batted poorly in the first innings from the top order. There was some rash shots played in the first innings, that was foolish cricket, but they learnt from it. Pujara was absolutely magnificent, we’ve asked him to be a little more upright to counter bounce in these conditions,” Shastri said.
Shastri was so impressed with India’s performance that he plans to the cricketers a few days off.
“They have to rest up, to hell with the nets. You just come there, mark your attendance and get away to the hotel. We know the Perth track is quick, it’s a drop in surface, there’ll be something there for the fast bowlers. They need rest,” Shastri said.
Shastri had special praise reserved for his bowlers too, saying that their ‘discipline’ has bode well for the team.
Mohammed Shami finished with five wickets from the game, while Jasprit Bumrah and Ashwin both took six wickets. Ishant Sharma, who took three wickets in the match, started the ball rolling for India by taking Travis Head’s wicket for 14 in the morning of day five.
“I thought the bowlers were brilliant in the first innings, defending 250, the discipline was magnificent. They’ve worked on it, it’s not come in overnight. As a bowling unit, when you show that discipline, it doesn’t matter which side you play against. You will be successful.”
(With inputs from Reuters)