Kohli: ‘Our guys showed great guts’

The Indian captain was elated at a collective effort from his team that resulted in a 63-run win at Johannesburg.

Virat Kohli gives vent to his emotions after India grabs a wicket.   -  AFP

Indian captain Virat Kohli said once his team got the breakthrough, he knew his bowlers would finish the job on the surface here.

About India’s decision to bat on a green Wanderers pitch, he said, “Many thought we were making a mistake by batting first here. But we knew it would be difficult to play on this surface in the fourth innings. There were cracks on the pitch.”

Kohli, whose team retained its ICC ranking as the No. 1 Test side, said, “We required character playing on a pitch that was very difficult. Our guys showed great guts through the four days. We took up the challenge.”

Report: Mohammed Shami leads India to consolation win

The Indian captain said, “We knew we were close in the first two games. This was perfect. Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla played really well, although it was not easy. You expect that from South Africa.”

Kohli said, “But once wickets go down, in pressure situations, it’s very difficult to come back. And the other good thing was we didn't leak runs.”

History made
  • History was made at the Wanderers on Saturday when, for the first time in a series of three Tests or more, all the 120 wickets on offer were taken by the two sides. Both India and South Africa grabbed 60 wickets each as all three Tests, at Newlands, Centurion and here produced a win for one of the sides.

The skipper had words of praise for his bowlers. “The bowlers have been a big positive. Sixty wickets in an away series is rare, and if the batsmen step up and understand what they need to do like they did in this game, we can win overseas.” Kohli noted, “We need to think about our game, prepare better and I'm sure we can win more often away from home.”

After Lord’s, 2014, this is India’s first Test win in Australia, England, South Africa or New Zealand, the four countries where the team has traditionally found the conditions difficult. On facing criticism on occasions, Kohli said, "We don't believe what is said outside the ropes. We do what we believe in."

‘Sloppy’

South African captain Faf du Plessis conceded his team was outplayed in the Test. “ We didn't take our chances. We were just sloppy. We weren't consistent with the ball. Our fielding was pretty average. And with the bat, the conditions were tough.”

After all the drama at the end of Day Three, du Plessis admitted he was surprised at how well the pitch played on Day Four. “Hashim [Amla] and Dean [Elgar] had that great partnership.” He added, “But the history of this wicket tells you that the ball does a bit more later in the day. We can only blame ourselves for this defeat but are extremely happy to win the series.”

The South African captain said, “India played some very good cricket, but we were deserving winners.”

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