Indian coach Ravi Shastri has paid an emotional tribute to his team’s heroic efforts in Brisbane on Tuesday after they claimed a 2-1 series win over Australia.
Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant struck a match-winning and unbeaten 89 runs to guide India to a three-wicket victory that has since been described as one of Test cricket’s greatest wins.
Shastri has powerfully praised his players for fighting with their backs against the wall due to various challenges.
‘The courage, the resolve, the spirit, that you guys have shown is unreal. Not for once you were down, injuries, 36 all out [in the first Test], you had the self-belief in you,’ Shastri commented post-match.
‘It doesn’t come overnight but now that you have this self-belief, you can see where you have taken a game as a team. Today, forget India, the whole world will stand up and salute you.
‘So, remember what you guys have done today. You need to enjoy this moment, don’t let it just go away, enjoy as much as you can.’
After suffering a heavy defeat in the opening Test match in Adelaide, where they were bowled out for only 36 in the second innings, Shastri called on his players to show a response.
Losing captain Virat Kohli also didn’t ease the pressure, while injuries forced young players to step up to the occasion.
India responded with victory in Melbourne during the second Test before the third encounter in Sydney ended as a draw.
It made for a thrilling final Test match as Australia battled for a series result. But, it was the belief and unbelievable fight from the inexperienced India squad that prevailed in the end.
‘It started in Melbourne. Sydney was fantastic, it allowed us to come here even-steven. And to pull off something [like this] today was simply outstanding,’ Shastri added.
‘And Rishabh, simply outstanding. The way you were batting, you gave heart attacks to a few every moment but what you have done is magnificent.’