A relieved and joyous Virat Kohli said that patience was key for the Indian bowlers when the Australian tail frustrated them on the final day of the first Test in Adelaide. Australia's last four wickets took them from 156 for 6 to 291, giving India a scare in chase of 323.
"The odds were stacked up against them as soon as we got Pat Cummins out. It's important to stay calm. I wouldn't say I was cool as ice but you try not to show it,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony after India's 31-run win.
“When Jasprit Bumrah bowled his last over, he was getting worked up. I told him it was just a matter of one mistake or one good ball. Super proud to have four bowlers and take 20 wickets to win this Test match.”
Kohli had plenty of praise for Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, saying they are the two most solid batsmen in the team when they get going.
“Pujara and Rahane stood up in this match. I thought we were the better team and deserved to win. I think when they bat together like that they are our most solid pair,” said the Indian captain.
However, Kohli echoed batting coach Sanjay Bangar’s sentiments and said the lower order needs to contribute more with the bat.
“I think our middle order and lower order could've done better," he said. "These things are things to keep in mind for Perth. But if you had told me we would 1-0 up after the first game I would have taken that!"
Man of the match Pujara, meanwhile, said that ending the first innings with a slender lead helped galvanise the team’s belief that they could go on to win the match.
“The first innings lead of 15 gave us the belief batting in the second innings. The self-belief in everyone was what made it possible,” he said.
He also said that his previous experience of playing in Australia helped him prepare for the match, but was quick to give credit to the bowlers for their performance.
"I think playing here before has helped me a lot. I think what has helped me is the preparation," he said. "Ultimately a lot of credit goes to all the bowlers for winning us the Test match.”
Australia skipper Tim Paine said that Pujara was the difference between the two sides.
“I thought Pujara’s innings was probably the difference between the two sides. It is just really hard to get him (Pujara) out,” said Paine.
Paine went on to describe the loss as “shattering”, saying that none of the batsmen stuck around long enough to bat with the tail.
"It's pretty shattering. But India thoroughly deserved to win. We thought we could do it. Our lower order can bat well but neither me, (Travis) Head or (Shaun) Marsh could bat for long enough with our tail to win."
However, Paine said that they believe they can go on to win the series.