India captain Virat Kohli is ecstatic after the victory in Adelaide. @ Twitter
India captain Virat Kohli is ecstatic after the victory in Adelaide. @ Twitter

India captain Virat Kohli was ecstatic after the tourists created history to win the opening Test against Australia on Monday at Adelaide by 31 runs. This is the first time an Indian side has won the opening Test in Australia.

Chasing 323, India were almost getting stung by Australia’s tail with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins putting on 41 runs for the eighth wicket and later, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood conjuring 32 runs for the last wicket in a brilliant reargued effort by the Aussies. However, Ravichandran Ashwin took his only wicket on Day 5, the last Australian wicket of Hazlewood to trigger wild celebrations in the Indian camp.

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“These things happen in Tests, ups and downs through a game. You need to just stay calm. The 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,” Kohli, who has become the first Indian captain to first a Test in England, South Africa and Australia in a calendar year, said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Asked whether India were feeling the heat when Lyon and Hazlewood threw the pressure back at the tourists, Kohli said: “I wouldn’t say I was cool as ice but you just don’t try to show it. Jasprit Bumrah was getting worked up in his last over but I just told him to relax. Super proud (of the bowlers), to have four bowlers and take 20 wickets is a great achievement. Something that we haven’t done in the past. Shows us that if the batsmen step up regularly, we will be gunning for a win in every Test match. Collectively we were the better team and deserved to win.”

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The difference in the Adelaide Test clearly was Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a fine 123 off 246 in the first innings and followed his knock with a patient 71 off 204 in the second dig. “Priceless from  Pujara, we were down and out at lunch on day 1. His grit and determination brought us back in it. We always knew that runs on the board would make the home side tentative. Any lead was gold and we got 15. In the second innings again, he and Ajinkya Rahane batted well,” he said.

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On Day 4, post lunch session, India’s batting order collapsed as they lost four wickets in seven balls when a target on 350 top was looking gettable. Asked whether 323 was enough, Kohli was critical of his middle and lower order batsmen.

“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 said.