New Delhi: Indian cricket legends including VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar hailed the current Test team on Monday after they ended a 10-year victory drought in Australia with a thrilling win in Adelaide.
Virat Kohli’s team won by 31 runs on day five, prompting praise and celebrations as India clinched only their sixth victory in 71 years of tours to Australia.
“Amazing grit displayed by the Australian lower order, but this is a moment to savour for a long time for Team India,” Laxman tweeted.
“The bowlers gave it everything and let’s just enjoy this and carry the momentum into the Perth Test,” he added.
Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant grabbed a world record-equalling 11 catches as India went 1-0 up after the opening match of the four-Test series.
Australia, attempting what would have been a record chase of 323 at the Adelaide Oval, battled to 291 before Ravichandran Ashwin had Josh Hazlewood caught to end the innings.
“Way to start the series! #TeamIndia never released the pressure,” India’s batting legend Sachin Tendulkar said on Twitter.
“Superb batting by (Cheteshwar) Pujara with crucial knocks in both innings, Ajinkya Rahane in second innings and excellent contributions by our 4 bowlers. This has brought back memories of 2003,” he added.
India’s last Test success in Australia was at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008, and their only previous success in Adelaide was in 2003, a match that both Laxman and Tendulkar played in.
Pujara was instrumental this time, top-scoring in both innings after he hit 123 in his first knock and 71 in his second.
“Test cricket is best cricket. Great fight by Australia in the end but India were too good. Winning after being 41-4 in first innings is a special effort,” former opener Virender Sehwag, another 2003 veteran, said in a tweet.
“Outstanding Test match for Pujara and great effort from our bowlers. Promises to be a great series,” he added.
Harbhajan Singh, who featured in several memorable matches between the two teams, congratulated his former teammates and described Pujara’s performance as “top stuff”.
India now take the momentum into the second Test in Perth starting Friday, with Melbourne and Sydney to follow.