What a start to the new year! Virat Kohli’s Indian team made us wait for four long years, but I guess it was worth the wait.
Expectations rose high when Virat took over the captaincy from MS Dhoni, in Australia itself in 2014/15, and started with a bang by scoring two hundreds at Adelaide.
Every time Virat took the team abroad, we felt this would be the team which will change the course and rewrite the history of Indian cricket. But cricket is not an easy game, and all teams to have toured Australia have experienced this.
But this time around, Virat and team have achieved what no Indian team had ever achieved, and that’s why this victory will remain special.
Ending a Wait of Decades
It is a truly proud moment, not just for the team in Australia right now, but also for all those who have worn India colours, and to the cricket-loving people of India – who have waited for decades, hoping against hope, and dreaming about seeing this day.
It has been a sweet victory, a clinical performance.
Virat came under tremendous criticism when India lost in South Africa and England last year, but he showed his mettle, and the true fighter he is, by making sure his squad believed that winning against Australia in Australia was not impossible.
But the credit doesn’t go to Virat alone; the role of coach Ravi Shastri and the contribution of the support staff went a long way in making this possible. And of course, the backing of a billion Indian fans back home.
From India’s first captain, Col. CK Nayudu, to all those who followed, everyone has for decades been dreaming of this victory.
Despite having problems with our opening pair, the performance of Cheteshwar Pujara, captain Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane kept India’s batting ahead of Australia.
But more than anything else, the efforts of our lion-hearted bowling attack made this triumph possible. No amount of praise for them is enough.
‘Virat’s Team Can Rule World Cricket’
I remember when Ajit Wadekar’s team beat England in England, in 1971, I was on the road to see the motorcade pass by as fans received the victorious team. I experienced the same myself when we won the World Cup in 1983 and returned home. I would now like to be on the roads again, as a fan, to receive Virat’s team when they return from Australia.
This victory will be written in golden words.
It’s a triumph which backs what all of us have been saying for the last few years – that Virat’s team has the capacity to rule world cricket, much like the West Indian team which ruled the game from the 1960s to the 1980s. I only pray they keep themselves fit and safe from injuries.
Given the expectations, it is natural for criticism to come their way when they taste defeat. But cricket is a game where anyone can go from zero to hero.
My heartiest congratulations to each and every one of the players who made this possible, and I hope they keep winning series after series, home and away, like they did here.
I take a bow, and salute captain Kohli and his entire Indian team.
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