Virat Kohli says India's win in Australia his 'biggest achievement'
"This win will give us a different identity as an Indian team and can inspire kids to do the same for the country going forward"
Last Updated: 07/01/19 2:54pm
Virat Kohli says captaining India to victory in Australia is his "biggest achievement" and that the win will give his side a "different identity".
India secured a 2-1 series success after the fourth Test in Sydney ended in a draw - and Kohli insists the triumph trumps winning the World Cup on home soil in 2011.
"By far, this is my biggest achievement. It's at the top of the pile," said Kohli, whose side defeated Australia in Adelaide and Melbourne.
"When we won the World Cup in 2011, I was the youngest member of the side. I saw people around me getting emotional, but I didn't feel what they felt.
"Having been to [Australia] for the third time now and to understand what we've achieved here has never been done before, we can be proud of it.
"This win will give us a different identity as an Indian team and can inspire kids to do the same for the country going forward."
India, the No 1-ranked Test side in the world, impressed in series away from home in South Africa and England in 2018, before ultimately slipping to 2-1 and 4-1 defeats respectively.
"This win is definitely a stepping stone," said Kohli. "The average age of this side is quite low and the most important thing we have is belief.
"The intent has been good to take Indian cricket forward in the best way possible. We believed in South Africa and England that we were on the right track. We have results now.
"Here we stand with the most-outstanding result we can think of. I want to say I've never been more proud of being part of a team than this one.
"I think the culture we have been able to build over the last 12 months [has been fantastic]. To lead these players is an honour and privilege. The boys make the captain look good."
India's obdurate No 3 Cheteshwar Pujara - dubbed one of the "nicest guys around" by Kohli - topped the run-scoring charts in the series with 521 in seven innings, including three hundreds and a fifty.
Seamer Jasprit Bumrah finished joint top wicket-taker with 21, alongside Australia spinner Nathan Lyon, while his fellow India paceman Mohammed Shami (16) and Ishant Sharma (11) took a double-figure number of scalps.
"We spoke about as a team that we just wanted to go back to the basics, not be flamboyant but have the old hard grind for runs," added Kohli, who hit 282 runs for India, including one century.
"As a batting unit, everyone contributed at different times. Once batsmen start scoring, we knew our bowlers can be relentless and lethal."
"The way the bowlers have dictated terms and dominated, not just here but on the previous two tours has been fantastic
You can see that hunger and that passion to win for India. We put everything on the line to win for the team.
Virat Kohli on his seam attack
"They never look at a pitch and say things like 'there's nothing for us'. They dictate plans to me and that's a revelation for Indian cricket.
"It's a lesson for all bowlers back home to get into that mindset early in their careers. These guys are going to be looked up to for a long, long time."
India coach Ravi Shastri added: "This is a team that will jump over a cliff to win a game for their country. That's the determination and the ruthlessness, the mindset with which this team went out to play.
"This team now has an identity to look at any other Indian team from the past in the eye without being intimidated and say: 'We play proper Test cricket. You did, and we do too'."