Head coach Ravi Shastri couldn’t help but put a beaming smile on his face as India completed a successful run chase of 287 to secure a come-from-behind 2-1 series win. India turned the tables from the last ODI series between the two teams, when Australia did something similar last year. This time around, it was India, who regrouped after a 10-wicket loss in Mumbai to win the next two games in Rajkot and Bengaluru.
India lost to Australia the last time around despite the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, and Shastri mentioned the win is even sweeter considering this was Australia’s best team.
“The boys showed great character. The reason I say character is because after the thrashing in Mumbai, to have the belief that they can do it and do it two games in a row with one day travel is an outstanding achievement. Nobody can say we played an inferior Australia side.”
India brought out the big guns chasing a target of above 280. Rohit Sharma scored his 29th ODI century and partnered Virat Kohli in a 137-run stand for the second wicket. Even once Rohit perished, Kohli ensured India never fell behind the asking rate and finished with 89. He and Shreyas Iyer added 68 quick runs and although Kohli departed 11 short of a hundred, the Mumbai batsman scored the winning runs and finished with 44 off 35 balls.
“Once they got off to a start, they (Rohit-Virat) realised they are up against a team that is always looking for wickets. So the way both batted with a lot of responsibility. The way Shreyas finished will do him a world of good. If sides are planning to take us apart in the last ten overs and then there could be a surprise. We have a lot of variety,” Shastri said.
Shastri also credited his fast bowlers for executing yorkers with perfection throughout the series, saying it is one delivery that will stand the test of time, while heaping praises on speedster Navdeep Saini.
“The good old yorker. The game might be 130 years old, but that is still the best ball in one-day cricket. I don’t care who the batsman is. If you execute properly, you are going to get him,” Shastri said. “The exposure the young players get playing against an opponent like this will stand them in good stead. The next time they play any opposition, the entire mindset will be different for them. Saini is rapid. If he gets it right, he will tickle a few. Really proud of the guys.”