The 2018-19 tour was the first time India won a Test series on Australian soil. Judging from the manner in which skipper Virat Kohli and the entire team went exuberant on the final day of the 4th Test match at Sydney, the emotion of creating history was felt by both players as well as ardent supporters of the team.
This wasn't the first time India lifted the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on Australian soil. Having won 2-1 at home in 2001, they drew in 2003/04 to retain the trophy in Australia. This time around, it felt a lot different.
Lifting the trophy must have felt lighter, for India finally had the monkey off its back. The questions had always been raised regarding India's record in Australia. Taking a cue from Sourav Ganguly's team in 2003/04, Virat Kohli's troops went one step further to win a historic Test series down under.
Kohli, whose aggression was often questioned, became much more focussed and led Indian team to turn Australian hopes of victory into ashes. The fans and supporters back in India could finally feel the warmth of victory during the winters. This one is special - it's a rare pie which had the flavors of perfect batting, bowling and fielding served by the combined effort of the players, coach Ravi Sashtri and the entire support staff.
Blunting the Australian bowlers into submission, Pujara was indeed the strongest weapon India had against the hosts. It was a memorable tour for the debutant Mayank Agarwal. He joined the team in the latter half of the series and resolved India's quandary with the opening slots.
Rishabh Pant, with his aggressive batting, glove work and sharp banter from behind the stumps, got under the skin of the Australian team right throughout the tour. Crucial knocks from Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane also troubled the Australian bowlers.
The pace attack, along with the spinners, formed a stronger force which blew away the Australian batting lineup. Bumrah, the leading wicket-taker for India, was the nemesis for the home team batsmen.
Ishant Sharma's immense experience served as the backbone of the attack and helped provide vital breakthroughs. Mohammed Shami's fiery spells continued on this tour as well. Ravichandran Ashwin troubled Aussies for the first time on their own soil at Adelaide. However, he had to pull out after the first test due to injury woes. Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav also spun the perfect web to trap Aussies.
The Indian batting lineup had answers to the arrows from quivers of the Australian bowling while the Indian bowling cannons jolted the walls of Australian batting which couldn't hold on for long. Eventually, the walls of the fortress was breached for the first time by an Asian team in 72 years of international cricket.
The emotions were palpable in the air, that's the beauty of victory when it is felt after a long drawn effort. A dream, that had been tantalized for so long, was finally accomplished when the Indian team held the Border Gavaskar Trophy aloft at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground. This was the best New Year present by the Indian cricket team to the people of the nation.