By Abhaya Srivastava
kipper Virat Kohli said
Australia were no
longer his friends after
India wrapped up a
series 2-1 with a
thumping eight-wicket win in
Dharamsala on Tuesday.
Chasing 106 on the penultimate day of the fourth Test,
opener Lokesh Rahul hit 51 not
out at India’s
newest Test venue
as the hosts seized
back the Border-Gavaskar trophy
Rahane ( 38 not
out) hit two sixes
in a row off pace-man Pat Cummins
en route to the
team’s seventh successive Test
series victory, a run that kicked
off with their triumph in Sri
Lanka in 2015.
But Kohli, who sat out the
final Test with a shoulder injury,
said any warm feelings he had
toward Australia before the Test
had evaporated during the bitter
contest that ensued between the
world’s top two sides.
“I thought that was the case,
but it has changed for sure. As I
said in the heat of the battle, you
want to be competitive but yeah
I have been proven wrong,”
Kohli told a post-match press
“The thing I said before the
first Test (about being friends), I
have certainly been proven
wrong, and you won’t hear me
say that ever again.”
The 28-year-old skipper
caused a furore in the second
Test after accusing
Steven Smith of
But Kohli, who
managed only 46
runs in the series,
“Unbelievable. This is the best
series win so far,” said Kohli,
who received the Test mace on
behalf of India for ending the
season as the world’s top side.
“The way the Australian team
gave us a fight was really amaz-
ing, but the way the (India) guys
kept bouncing back showed the
true character of the side.”
India’s cricket board rewarded
their players who featured in all
four Tests with a cash bonanza
of $77,000. Smith meanwhile
apologised for letting emotions
get the better of him. On
Monday footage indicated he
called Murali Vijay a “cheat” for
wrongly claiming a catch.
“I have been pretty intense
throughout this series. I really
wanted to do well for the team.
At times I have been in my own
bubble and have let my emotions slip. I apologise for that,”
Jadeja on fire
In the maiden Test played in
Dharamsala, India scored 332 in
their first innings in reply to
Australia’s 300, before the
tourists collapsed for just 137 on
the third day.
On day four, India lost Vijay
to fast bowler Pat Cummins and
Cheteshwar Pujara to a run out.
But these were the only scares
for the hosts, who reached their
target in less than 24 overs.
The main architect of India’s
victory was all-rounder Ravindra
Jadeja, who was named man of
the match and series for his
He top-scored with 63 in the
first innings before taking three
wickets with his left-arm spin
during Australia’s second knock.
“The way the guys handled
situations and the way Ajinkya
led was outstanding,” Kohli said.
“But the maturity and the
responsibility shown by all the
guys in the team was pleasing to
see,” he added. Kohli’s own
behaviour was parodied in the
Australian media, some of whom
disparagingly compared him to
US President Donald Trump.
The contest will also be
remembered for the fine form of
Aussie captain Smith, who
amassed 499 runs with three
centuries, becoming only the
sixth visiting batsman to hit as
Virat Kohli, left, and Ajinkya Rahane,
right, of India receive the Border-Gavasker Trophy from former
cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, center, after
winning the Test match series against
Australia at the Himachal Pradesh
Cricket Association Stadium in
Dharamsala on March 28.
Five Flashpoints of India v Australia Series
ndia clinched a hard-fought
series against Australia 2-1
after winning the fourth and
final Test in Dharamsala.
Here are the main flashpoints
of a tour which will be remembered as much for its controver-sies as its cricket:
Emotions were running high
after Australia won the opening
Test in Pune, but visiting skipper
Steve Smith set off a storm of
controversy in the second game.
Smith looked to his dressing
room while deciding whether to
review his lbw dismissal in
Bangalore, in a moment he
described as a “brain fade”.
But Indian captain Virat Kohli
accused the visitors of routinely
abusing the decision review system, stopping just short of calling Smith a cheat.
An ensuing war of words, as
both captains stood their
ground, required the cricket
boards of India and Australia to
intervene but even a clear-the-
air meeting between the skip-
pers failed to smooth things
The rancor worsened in the
third Test when Australia’s
Glenn Maxwell was caught
mocking a shoulder injury sus-
tained by Kohli while diving to
save a boundary.
Maxwell, after making a simi-
lar plunge in the outfield, was
seen clutching his shoulder and
grinning to his team-mates in a
parody that infuriated Indian
fans and commentators.
Kohli had the last laugh, grabbing his shoulder in a theatrical
fashion after Australian opener
David Warner was dismissed for
14 the next day.
The fourth and final Test in
Dharamsala saw a fresh controversy as Ravindra Jadeja and
Matthew Wade engaged in a
slanging match that could have
been left on the field -- had
India’s cricket board not intervened.
The verbal clash was picked
up by stump microphones and
the board posted the complete
exchange on its website and
social media channels for all to
hear. Smith later expressed disappointment that the board had
“sieved through the archive to
find a conversation out on the
field” between the two opponents.
Also in the final Test, Smith
was caught out by an eagle-eyed
cameraman as he called Murali
Vijay a cheat for claiming a
catch that had clearly hit the
Smith, watching the incident
from the dressing room, was
seen saying “F****** cheat!”, but
he later apologized for letting his
emotions get the better of him.
All could have been forgiven
and forgotten on the final day,
but Kohli remained unhappy
despite India’s series win.
The home captain said he
wouldn’t think of the Australian
players as friends “ever again”, a
comment which drew a strong
reaction from Aussie media.
Smith also revealed that he
invited the Indian players to
share a beer with his team, but
was rebuffed as the series ended
Virat Kohli shakes hands with Australian captain Steven Smith after
winning the Test match series between India and Australia at the Himachal Pradesh
Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on March 28.
India thrash Australia, take series
no longer his
INDIA ABROAD April 7, 2017 39 SPORTS