‘Team played as a unit’, former cricketers hail series win

Former cricketers Kapil Dev and Gundappa Viswanath credited the team's success to collective effort. Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah and Mayank Agarwal also came in for much praise.

Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara were in terrific form with the bat during the Test series in Australia.   -  AFP

As India scripted history at the Sydney Cricket Ground, clinching its first-ever Test series in Australia, former cricketers hailed Virat Kohli's team for its incredible show Down Under.

"It is unbelievable,” former India captain Kapil Dev told Sportstar. "The most important thing is the team played as a unit and the result is out in the open," he said.

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This has also been a series to remember for captain Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, as they piled on runs to put the host under pressure. "They have been fantastic and should be given credit but I would still say that playing as an unit has worked well for the team. They have been outstanding," India's 1983 World Cup-winning captain, said.

Kapil's old friend and former India batsman, Gundappa Viswanath, said it was a 'terrific win' for the visiting side.

"India has toured Australia quite a few times in the past but could not win a series and it was a tough one. The side has played terrific cricket throughout the series," Viswanath said.

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While he is impressed with the batting department, Viswanath is also excited with the new ball bowlers. "They have supported very well and (Jasprit) Bumrah has been a find (of the series). They played as an unit and that worked," the former batsman stated.

In the post-match press conference, India coach Ravi Shastri rated this series win higher than the World Cup victory in 1983. But Viswanath is not ready to compare the two.

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"Those are two different eras and two different formats. 1983 World Cup win changed the course of cricket in the country. It changed the perception of the game, so I won't compare the two," Viswanath said. "But yes, both the teams have been the best. Just like the one in 1983, this side is also a very good one," he added.

 

Karsan Ghavri, another former India cricketer, agrees that an all-round performance helped the team script history. "The batsmen, bowlers, the fielders — everyone got their job right and they were spot on. Winning against teams like Australia and Pakistan are always special and it is a big achievement," Ghavri said.

Jasprit Bumrah troubled Australian batsmen was destructive in the series.   -  AFP

 

He also credits the bowlers for doing a fine job. "You cannot win a Test match without taking 20 wickets and our bowlers exactly did that. Both pacers and spinners did their job right," Ghavri said.

He is also happy with the way young gun Mayank Agarwal made the opportunity count. "He is the find of the series. Of course Pujara and Kohli were outstanding but you have to give credit to Mayank," Ghavri said.

 

"This victory also shows how good our domestic structure is. The supply line will never stop and that's a very good thing," Ghavri said. He, however, admits that without David Warner and Steve Smith, the current Australia side has turned into a second-rank team.

I always focus on consistency, says Bumrah

"To be honest, this Australia team doesn't look the one it used to be earlier. Earlier, they had Ricky Pointing, Steve Waugh and now it's looking like a second string side," the former cricketers said.

 

However, Gautam Gambhir, who retired recently, lauded the team and insisted that one should not think too much about the absence of Warner and Smith.

"Congratulations India on a stupendous victory. It’s a big day for us as sporting nation. For once,let’s not debate or dissect the impact of absence of Warner/Smith, let’s just savour the moment and be proud. Let’s be together on this one at least!," Gambhir wrote on Twitter.

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