India created history by winning the Test series at Australia for the first time after 71 years. The celebration went wild and the players were unable to control their emotions. Even a quiet and a resilient Chetashwar Pujara (who was the Man of the Series) was completely intrigued by the occasion and he too danced and poured out his joy along with the team. The Indian team had ticked all the right boxes and they thoroughly deserved this series victory.
During the post-match press conference, skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri mentioned that this maiden Test series victory at Australia was much more special than the two World cup triumphs in 1983 and 2011.
An ecstatic Virat Kohli said, "This achievement is top of the pile. When I won the World Cup, I was the youngest member of the team. I saw everyone get emotional but didn’t feel it then, here, after coming three times I know how tough it is. This is where the transition began and to win four years later is special."
Shastri too chipped in by saying that "World Cup 1983, World Championship 1985, this is as big or even bigger because this is in the truest format of the game."
But now comes the pertinent question; Were they right in delivering such statements?
Some people say that winning a World Cup is much greater than winning a Test series or both of them cannot be compared. But I would beg to differ from them for there are three main reasons to validate their statement.
1) The magnitude of the series victory
Over the last eight months, India had put in a lot of effort to justify their No.1 ranking in Tests. But their hard work did not yield fruitful results as they had lost the Test series in South Africa and England. Australia was their last chance to salvage some pride.
Virat and his men were determined to make amends for their lapses and were ready to showcase their prowess against the depleted Aussies. What unfolded four weeks after the commencement of the tour was truly the beginning of a new saga.
Virat was unable to curtail his emotions and frankly admitted that the series win down under was much emotional than the World Cup win in 2011. During the time of his first World Cup, he was just a young lad waiting to take the centre stage.
However, in his previous two tours to Australia, he experienced a series whitewash and a heartbreaking defeat despite his four commanding centuries. He finally realized of what it takes to conquer the final frontier.
So, personally, for Virat, the magnitude of this series win was much greater than the World Cup win only for the sole reason that the World Cup victory was an instant success whereas this one came after a lot of struggle.
2) Winning in the truest format
India's coach Ravi Shastri rightly pointed out that Test cricket is the truest format of the game. It is in this format wherein a cricketer's technique, ability, character and mental fortitude is put to test a great deal.
Test cricket will always remain as the most classical form of the game. It is the only this format that makes waiting for the result more endearing. The advent of other formats of the game is destroying the art of bowling and class batting.
With the introduction of power play in the limited overs format, the batsmen can afford to take more chances and the bowlers are immediately placed on the back foot. But, Test cricket can certainly give us the surety that there is an equal contest between the bat and ball.
At the end of the day, it hard to recollect a series victory achieved in the limited overs format. But that is not the case in Test cricket because it gives an emotional connect that ardent cricket fans could cherish it for the rest of their lives.
3) The inexplicable joy of the long-standing Indian cricket fans
Just pause for a moment and imagine the feeling that could be experienced by long-standing cricket fans after India had clinched this series. Their happiness has no bounds. Some might even go the extent that, their purpose of life is complete with respect to watching cricket.
These passionate fans have waited for a period of over half a century to experience this memorable triumph. Over the past tours, they had seen the likes of the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, Bishan Singh Bedi, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and a lot more performing remarkably well. Yet, a series win had eluded these greats.
What Kohli and his men achieved would definitely satiate the craving and the desire of these legends and the long-standing cricket fans. This victory certainly belongs to them.