After his side effected a 3-0 win over South Africa – the first time they’ve won all matches in a Test series against them – India captain Virat Kohli was proud of the ‘team-first’ culture that his players have cultivated.
“Even in one match we didn’t get all out, and we won 3-0. It’s a spectacular team performance. It’s rare that you get to see that whoever gets a chance is performing. It’s something to be happy about for us, that we’ve created a culture where people don’t think about themselves and put the team first. Only then are these performances possible,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
“The bowlers did a fantastic job together, you never saw a situation where one bowler took eight wickets while the rest did nothing. So whoever comes on to bowl looks like he might get a wicket in every spell,” he stated.
“As an opener, Rohit has anticipation of the challenges that he may face. In one-day cricket, he has been one of the best in the world for quite some time. So to overcome that and to have batted the way he did, because of the rate at which he scored, even after missing two-three sessions in a Test, we had so much time to bowl and dismiss the opposition twice. Credit goes to the player because he was able to overcome the pressure and anxiety to produce a Man of the Series performance in his first very first series as an opener,” he remarked.
“Ditto with Mayank, he’s a new opener and has done well consistently. Jinx [Ajinkya Rahane] made a century after a long time at home, and scored one in Test cricket after a long time in the West Indies. So things have moved in a positive direction for some time and, like I said, it feels good to see as a team that individuals are standing up at various points and delivering.
“If you look at these two guys [Umesh and Shami], their strike-rate is probably the best in Indian conditions in history [minimum 10 Tests in India], which tells you that these guys hit the stumps more and the pads more than anyone else before them. It’s again a great sign of the kind of intent the bowlers are running in with now. The fitness levels have obviously gone up. You bowl three good overs, and if you’re tired, then the other two are not as effective and we lose the opportunity to take a wicket after creating pressure,” he added.