We are not going to stop here: Virat Kohli
This win has given us confidence heading into Sydney: Virat Kohli (AFP Image)

A fired-up Virat Kohli has sent out a message loud and clear to Australia: India will go for the kill in the final Test at Sydney starting January in order to win the series 3-1.

After rain washed away the first 90 minutes of Day 5, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma struck in successive overs to help India complete a strong 137-run win over Australia in the third Test at the MCG, and Kohli believes the win has given them the belief that they can put the finishing touches at the SCG. (Day 5: As it happened)

“We are not going to stop here. This (win) will give us more confidence and we will play more positively in Sydney. I think we have been really smart in all the departments in the two matches that we have won. That is the reason we have at least retained the trophy, but job is not done yet. It’s not finished at all. We want to win the last Test match as well, if an opportunity comes our way. We don’t want to be complacent. We are all but ready for the final Test match.,” Kohli said during the presentation ceremony.

The day began with abrupt showers preventing the first session from taking place resulting in early lunch. Kohli’s decision not to enforce the follow-on after India secured a 292-run lead in the first innings sparked a debate, but the India captain asserted that he wasn’t bothered by it.

“It’s good thing that I don’t read any comments. What matters is what we decide inside dressing room as a team unit. We were pretty clear that we will bat third on this pitch as it was only getting worse,” Kohli added.

Bumrah was adjudged Player of the match for his match-haul of nine wickets. Following his figures of 6 for 33 in the first innings that bowled Australia out for 151, Bumrah picked up three more in the second dig, including the big wicket of Pat Cummins, who had frustrated India with a defiant half-century.

“Jasprit has been brilliant for us. The three seamers have broken a record for the highest number of wickets in a calendar year. He (Bumrah) was unlucky not to get wickets in Perth. The way he bowled, it was almost criminal that he didn’t reap the rewards. The team management calmed him down and he won us the Test match here at the MCG,” Kohli said.

The win has helped India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as they cannot lose the series from here, the first time in Australia since the 2003-04 tour. The 137-run beating was also India’s 150th in Tests and first at the MCG since 1981. Even if India are to draw the next Test, Kohli would have done what no former captain from the country has been able to in the last 71 years, i.e – win a Test series in Australia.

“(Mayank) Agarwal was amazing. His composure was excellent. Pujara was brilliant too. It is all about taking pride in your roles which you’re given. We have to play good cricket to be in the position we are in right now. We have never been in this position and now is the time to express ourselves even more,” added Kohli.