Virat Kohli says beating the Proteas in their own conditions at the Wanderers was satisfying.
The Proteas were out-bowled in the final Test. On a bouncy Wanderers wicket said to be even more seamer-friendly than usual, India stepped up, dismissing the Proteas for 194 and 177 in their two innings.
‘Firstly, we never complained about any of the tracks we played on,’ said Kohli on Saturday.
‘Secondly, when we saw the pitch we knew it would be the same for both sides and we decided to take the challenge head-on. So it feels satisfying to win on a pitch that was said to have pace and bounce, and it did, which played to our advantage.
‘We had to show character in this game and step up. Not for anyone else but for the belief of the team. When no one is believing in you or backing you it is very important to back yourselves as individuals.
‘We never cared what people said about us. We knew that if we played well together as a team, we could win here.
‘The bowlers were outstanding throughout the series and even now taking 20 wickets and doing the job for us, it feels really good.’
Kohli said he was never worried, even when Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar’s 107-run partnership had taken the Proteas to 124-1.
‘I don’t think like people on the outside. For me, it is very important to have belief in the team. At all stages, I was thinking that if we were in the same position and we lost a wicket, it would have made it difficult for the next people to come in to bat.
‘We knew that if they lost a couple of wickets, that the guys coming in would be nervous. This is Johannesburg, not India, so they needed to play well and do the job.
‘We had nothing to lose. We played expressive cricket and we got stuck into them. This is one of our sweetest wins and I’m very proud of the team.’
On the series as a whole Kohli said: ‘South Africa played better than us in the first two games. So they deserved to win [the series].
‘They as a team know that in many moments in the first two games we put them under pressure, it’s not like we rolled over. People really like to look at it that way. When we came into this game we saw banners of whitewash and 3-0.
‘It feels really sweet to make it 2-1, this game was a testimony of our belief and attitude we have as a team. They definitely deserved to win the first two and we deserved to win this one.’
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