Virat Kohli: I am proud of the bowlers

India skipper Virat Kohli heaped praise on his bowlers after India defeated Australia by 31 runs to clinch a thrilling Test match at the Adelaide Oval on Monday.

India skipper Virat Kohli is all smiles after India won a thriller at the Adelaide Oval.   -  GETTY IMAGES

India ended its decade-long wait for a Test victory in Australia as it won a thrilling Test match at the Adelaide Oval by beating the home side by 31 runs on Monday.

India bowled out Australia for 291 to clinch the first game of the four-match series in a nail-biting finish.

The host was set a target of 323, a score never before successfully achieved in a fourth innings run chase at the Adelaide Oval. However, the Australian lower-order injected hope and gave India a scare before R. Ashwin eventually dismissed Josh Hazlewood to spark off wild celebrations.

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"These things happen in Tests, ups and downs through a game. You need to just stay calm. Odds were stacked against them. They fought really well but we executed our plans well and got that last wicket which were intending to get," India skipper Virat Kohli said.

The India skipper said that he is 'super proud' of his bowlers who did remarkably well to pick 20 Australian wickets.

"Super proud, to have four bowlers and take 20 wickets is a great achievement. Something that we haven't done in the past," Kohli said.

The last Test India won in Australia was at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008, and the last one in Adelaide was in 2003. While in the past overseas tours, the Indian batting failed to click as an unit, the first Test saw vital contributions from the top-order, especially Cheteshwar Pujara.

"Shows us batsmen that if we step up, we will be gunning for a win in every Test match. Collectively we were the better team and deserved to win. Priceless from Pujara, we were down and out at lunch on day one. His grit and determination brought us back in it. We always knew that runs on the board would make a home side tentative. Any lead was gold and we got 15," Kohli said.

Virat Kohli heaped praise on India middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara who played match-winning knocks.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

"In the second innings again, he and Rahane batted well. I think our lower middle order and lower order could have done better. We could have added another 30-35 runs more which could have taken the game totally beyond Australia. So these are things that we have to think about going to Perth but if someone had told me before the series that I would be 1-0 up as soon we started the series, I would have taken it with both hands," he added.

Pujara who scored a brilliant hundred in the first innings and a valuable 71 in the second was awarded the man-of-the-match. Speaking on his match-winning knocks, the middle-order batsman said, "Most important thing for me was the preparation. When I was back home, I knew what to expect from Australian pitches. The hundred was special. Ultimately winning the Test, credit goes to the bowlers."

"Getting a 15-run lead was a psychological advantage. Self-belief from the teammates was what made it possible. Always back my ability, have got enough experience playing for the Indian team. As a batting unit, we have a lot to improve on. We learn from our mistakes, and played much better in the second innings. Means a lot. He's someone who started coaching me when I was 8 years. He would be a proud dad."