India's cricket team celebrate
India's cricket team celebrate with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as they celebrate their series win over Australia in Sydney, Monday, January 7, 2019. Image Credit: AP

I can’t express in words how immeasurably proud I am of Virat Kohli and his team for having created history in Australia.

It was my dream to be part of a winning side in Australia. I am delighted that I can live my dream through the wonderful exploits of this team.

Particularly impressive was the character and resilience India showed in the aftermath of the big defeat in Perth.

To bounce back after seeing their lead disappear necessitated digging deep and summoning reserves of mental strength.

The boys did that commendably, and while it would have been wonderful to sign off with a 3-1 scoreline, I am sure they will gladly take the 2-1 result.

It was heartening to see Cheteshwar Pujara back at his best, taking up responsibility and batting with the patience and single-mindedness associated with him. In Pujara’s ability to make a good thing count and tire out the opposition bowling is a massive lesson for youngsters. The volume of his runs, as well as the number of hours he spent at the crease, was the difference between the two teams.

Virat and Ajinkya Rahane both made contributions at vital moments, but what stood out for me was how a trio of young batsmen put their hand up. It wouldn’t have been easy for Mayank Agarwal to walk straightaway into a Boxing Day Test and showcase his skills. He was fearless and happy to play his natural game. Hanuma Vihari might not have had the runs to show for his efforts, but he was excellent in doing everything that was asked of him, with bat and ball, while Rishabh Pant showed that he is a quick learner by making a sea-change to his attitude from the first Test to the last.

These are nothing if not positive signs for Indian cricket.

No praise can be too high for Jasprit Bumrah and the fast bowling group. Their aggression was sustained and relentless, and it is a tribute to their fitness as much as skills that they were as dangerous in the last game of the series as they had been in the first. Ravi Ashwin made a key contribution in the first Test, Ravindra Jadeja wasn’t found wanting in his two appearances and Kuldeep Yadav was outstanding in the last game.

All of this goes to show the depth that percolates through the Indian ranks, be it in batting or bowling.

This series victory will add a new dimension to Indian cricket. It will, I am certain, inspire young cricketers to view playing overseas in a different light and aspire to emulate Virat’s Class of 2019.

After all, that’s what you play the game for!