New Delhi:Former cricketers on Saturday hailed India's victory in the third Test against Australia as a "memorable achievement" and said it was all the more creditable as it came after the turmoil that followed the Sydney Test.
The players also lavished praise on skipper Anil Kumble who showed remarkable poise in the difficult times and succeeded in regrouping the team after two consecutive losses.
"Anil's decision to bat first was great after a lot of people had written about the bounce on the wicket. Had we won the Test at Sydney (where a number of crucial decisions went against India) things would have been even better," said former captain and chairman of selection committee Dilip Vengsarkar.
"I hope the team continues to play in the same manner at Adelaide (fourth and final Test from Jan 24-28)."
"It was a tremendous victory especially considering the reputation of the Perth wicket and the opposition. I had always felt we can beat Australia in Australia and it has been proved," he added.
Another former Test captain Ajit Wadekar and left arm spinner Bapu Nadkarni also termed the victory a tremendous one and rated it as one of the top three in the annals of Indian cricket.
"It was a great victory and would rate it only behind our wins in England and West Indies (in 1971). The team showed tremendous positive attitude by deciding to bat first after all the pundits had said that the wicket would be very bouncy and put Australia on the backfoot," Wadekar said.
"The decision to introduce Virender Sehwag into the attack today was a master stroke. It reminded me of the Oval Test (against England in 1971) where I brought on (Bhagwast) Chandrasekhar for (Bishen) Bedi," Wadekar recalled.
"Anil is a tremendous fighter but does not show it outwardly. He has what I call controlled aggression. Irfan Pathan also bowled and batted very well. He looks to be a capable all rounder," he added.
"The way India have turned things around after the happenings in the Sydney Test, which would have been a morale dampener, was fantastic."
Nadkarni echoed Wadekar's views and said, "This victory should go down as among the top three by India in Tests. I was very impressed by the way the team played aggressively and as a team from the first ball. They showed zest for victory."
"Too often in the past we have come so near to victory before falling by the wayside. An example was the Karachi Test (against Pakistan in 2006) when we lost after having them on the ropes at 46 for six," the former left armer said.
"Beating Australia in Australia is not a joke. Had things gone our way (umpiring decision-wise) we would be up 2-1 now.
I am very impressed by the way Kumble has led the team, it has been tremendous," he said.
"The spirit should be kept high as we go into the final Test in Adelaide. What we have seen is tremendous team spirit.
We have showed we are capable of beating the giants of the game on their own turf," he added.
Former player and chairman of selectors Chandu Borde also lauded the team for shrugging off distracting controversies to keep the series alive.
"It is an amazing and fantastic victory because at one stage the Indian team was in a turmoil whether to stay back in Sydney or to proceed and fight back the Australians," Borde said.
"They chose the second option and the way the fought back resulted in a tremendous win for us," he added.
Borde praised comeback heroes Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan for their fine show.
"Though the team as a whole deserves all encomiums and praise, I am happy to note that Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan in their come back trail have performed remarkably well," he said.
"Sehwag and Pathan chose the right path and clicked well to send notice to others. They proved that they still have the game in them," he added.
19-year-old pacer Ishant Sharma's lion-hearted effort also caught the eye of Borde, who felt the bowler proved himself to be an exciting prospect.
"I am totally impressed with him. He was with us in the England tour but there he was struggling because of no ball problems. He seems to have got over such problems. He has speed, height and age with him and he will go a long way in serving India and has a bright future," he said.
Borde felt Kumble's gritty leadership also had huge part to play in the Indian triumph.
"I raise my hat for Anil (Kumble) for his handling the side with experienced ones and the younger lot and one could visualise as to how the team had played together for the winning cause," he said.
Legendary spinner EAS Prasanna also saluted the team's effort considering it came after a week of off-field drama following the Sydney furore.
"It is an extremely deserving win under extra-ordinary situations. The win speaks volumes about the togetherness of the team members. The trauma that they underwent has really been a motivating factor and it resulted in our superb victory," he said.
Once again Kumble's captaincy drew rich praise from Prasanna.
"Even before leaving the Indian shores, Anil (Kumble) has been saying that he leads a winning combination. He has pieced together the strengths of each member of the team effectively and proved himself in man management," he said.
"He has bestowed well in giving a fair deal to each of the playing eleven during the four days in the Perth Test."
Former skipper Krish Srikanth was also impressed by Kumble's determination.
"Hats off to each member of the team, particularly Anil Kumble for his leadership qualities. The manner in which he encouraged the three youngsters like Sharma, RP Singh and Pathan was striking," he opined.
"Anil's grit and determination and motivating his team members taking the Sydney fiasco has proved vital in our win," he said.