Time to celebrate, not comparisons: Nehra, Harbhajan on India's historic win

Ashish Nehra and Harbhajan Singh, while hailing the historic Test series win, called for restraint following notes of comparisons with the previous Indian teams that toured Australia.

Virat Kohli led India to its maiden Test series win in Australia.   -  Getty Images

Ashish Nehra and Harbhajan Singh, while hailing India’s performance in Australia, called for restraint following notes of comparisons with the teams which could not accomplish a Test series triumph Down Under.

“India played outstanding cricket, set new benchmarks and clearly came across the better team. It should have been a 3-1 verdict. It is time to celebrate the progress the team has won but I don’t like comparisons. We must not compare the different eras. You cannot. Playing on uncovered pitches against different bowlers had their own challenges. Who was better? Viv Richards, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli? I can’t answer that. Let us look things in the right perspective,” said Nehra, who played three Tests in Australia in 2003-04.

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Harbhajan, who figured in four Tests in Australia on two tours, praised the bowlers. “It was a big win fashioned by the bowlers. The team has done us all proud. History has been made. But don’t compare eras. India was competing against Australia and not against its own previous teams which went there. Please remember the standards were different. India’s previous teams touring Australia did their best,” Harbhajan, sharing the mike with Nehra on SPN' Extraa Innings as expert, said.

Jasprit Bumrah’s success impressed Nehra the most. “(Jasprit) Bumrah exploited the conditions and showed he has the ability to excel even on flat pitches. He bowls quick and has a superb slower one and the yorker. He can bowl long spells. He is a complete package.”

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In Harbhajan’s opinion, the bowling attack was superb. “India’s main spinner doesn’t perform overseas and it is good that Kuldeep (Yadav) has emerged the main spinner now with Ravindra Jadeja. The key was Cheteshwar Pujara. He showed how Test cricket is to be played, by leaving the ball, by defending the ball. He will grow and so will the team. Mayank (Agarwal) was a big plus too.”

Nehra observed, “Don’t judge teams by stats alone. There are other factors too that count. Not that India did not play well in South Africa and England. Not that teams in the past were not good enough to win Test series in South Africa and Australia. In today’s international cricket, only South Africa and England are at a par with India. Had I bowled better we would have won the 2003-04 series. All teams have their moments. This is the moment for Virat Kohli’s team to cherish.”