‘This win will give us a new identity’: Virat Kohli

“It has to be right on the top of the pile [of my achievements],” he said in the post-match presentation. “When we won the World Cup in 2011, I was the youngest member of the side. I saw people around me getting emotional, but I didn’t feel what they felt. Having been to this country for the third time now and to understand what we’ve achieved here has never been done before, we can be proud of it. This win will give us a different identity as an Indian team and can inspire kids to do the same for the country going forward.”It was in Sydney where he was appointed full-time captain, in January 2015. Clinching a historic first at the same venue four years later, he felt would give his team “a new identity.”
“This win is definitely a stepping stone [for Indian cricket],” he said. “If you see the average age of this side is quite low. The most important thing we have is belief. We believed in South Africa and England [even though we lost] that we are on the right track. We have results now. It’s not about what voices think of you from the outside. It’s about what you believe as a group. We’ve always been honest, going in the right direction. The intent has been good to take Indian cricket forward in the best way possible. Here we stand with the most-outstanding result we can think of.”Kohli also insisted it was “the team makes a captain look good”, and that he hadn’t been part of a better dressing room. “Firstly, want to say I’ve never been more proud to be part of a team than this one right here,” he said. “I think the culture we have been able to build over the last 12 months [has been fantastic]. I’m proud to be part of this team. To lead these players is an honour and privilege. They make a captain look good.”Kohli heaped special praise on “nicest guy” Cheteshwar Pujara for his batting. Pujara, who four years ago was left out of the Test XI at this very venue owing to bad form, returned to top score with 193 to earn the Player-of-the-Match award.