Australia Deserved To Win - Virat Kohli
An enthralling first Test in Adelaide ended in victory for Australia as they beat India by 48 runs. Virat Kohli struck a sensational second century to guide his team’s chase but ultimately the visitors fell short of their target.
Nathan Lyon took a career-best match haul of 12 for 286 to wreck the Indian batting.
"Australia were far better than us in taking chances and grabbing opportunities. They deserved to win today," said Kohli.
"When Murali Vijay and I were batting in the middle, it looked like we had the upper hand. But at no point did I think that we have to pull out of the chase.
"I always believed that we could do it and backed myself throughout. Even in the first innings I did not regret the shot that I played so it’s all about how you look at things."
Kohli became the second Indian batsman after Vijay Hazare to score two hundreds (116 and 148 in 1947-48) in a Test at Adelaide. Among Indian batsmen, he became the fourth after Hazare, Sunil Gavaskar (thrice) and Rahul Dravid (twice) to achieve this feat. In doing so, he matched Greg Chappell’s feat of scoring twin hundreds in a Test in his first match as captain. The Australian had achieved it against West Indies in 1975-76 at Brisbane.
Indians scoring two centuries in a Test
Vijay Hazare - 116 & 148 v Australia, 1948
Sunil Gavaskar - 124 & 220 v West Indies, 1974
Sunil Gavaskar - 111 & 137 v Pakistan, 1978
Sunil Gavaskar - 107 & 182* v West Indies, 1978
Rahul Dravid - 190 & 103* v New Zealand, 1999
Rahul Dravid - 110 & 135 v Pakistan, 2005
Virat Kohli - 115 & 141 v Australia, 2014
"One good thing was that I wasn’t thinking of any milestones," said the twin centurion. "I was only thinking about the target trying to calculate who I was going after. That’s the first time I have been able to do that in Test cricket atleast. That was something new for me. So that felt good.
"I was hoping, when Mitchell Marsh was swinging at the boundary, that he will drop the catch. But he didn’t. There are no regrets about playing that shot.
"Maybe I could have placed the shot better, and had it gone to the boundary, things could have been different. But again that is a big if," he added.
Kohli wasn’t the only batsman who perished in that manner. Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha were dismissed going for big hits, especially the latter, who jumped out of his crease.
"It wasn’t frustrating at all," Kohli replied when asked if it was so, watching from the other end.
"The chat I was having with guys in the middle was belief. If you believe in a stroke, go for it, I told them.
"Rohit was sweeping and missing, but I kept backing him. That’s how we looked at the game and that’s why we came so close to the target.
"If at any point we had played for a draw we would have lost by 150 runs to be honest."
Meanwhile, Australian captain Michael Clarke hailed his side’s win as "a special one".
"It's obviously very special. Every Test match you play for Australia you have a lot to play for, but obviously this series is even closer to our hearts.
"This first Test is one we will remember and cherish for the rest of our careers, there's no doubt about that.
"This has been the most important Test match I have played in my life," said Clarke.
Phillip Hughes was a major emotional memory through this Test and while many rich tributes were paid to the late cricketer, perhaps the most special one was when the Australian team sang victory songs on the 408 painted on the turf later after the match had been won.
"I don't want to talk too much about that to be honest, because I'll get too emotional. He's in our minds, he always will be.
"He will be for the rest of my life. The boys are individually at different stages, but we knew once we walked onto the field we had a job to do and had to play our best cricket to beat India.
"We wanted to start the series well. It's obviously quite emotional still and will be for a long time, but I think the boys in the change rooms are winning games of cricket is based on skill, not emotion," said the skipper.
Talking particularly of Nathan Lyon, Clarke was full of praise when he said: "He bowled fantastically in both innings. I think he could have had eight or nine wickets in the first innings, he bowled unbelievably well.
"If anything, it helps Nathan more than how anyone else thinks. I think everyone in the change rooms knows how good he is.
"He knows what he did today, he could have done that a number of times for us already.
"He's bowled really well throughout his career. He is a match-winner and he’s shown that anybody that has the skill to take wickets in the first innings of a Test can certainly do it in the second innings."
There will be obvious leadership changes for both sides in the second Test starting at Brisbane on 17th December.
MS Dhoni is expected to be back and he will take over the captaincy from Kohli. But Clarke suffered a right hamstring injury during the fifth day and is now ruled out of the series.
Australia have added batsman Shaun Marsh and fast bowler Mitchell Starc to their squad for the second Test.
© Cricket World 2014