Kotla Win Most Special in This Series: Virat Kohli
India's 337-run win in the fourth and final Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla gave the hosts a 3-0 series win, their biggest series win over South Africa and first in 11 years. The win also boosted India to number two in the ICC Test rankings.
- Santosh Rao
- Updated: December 07, 2015 07:57 PM IST
Kohli, who was captaining in his first series at home, sealed a memorable journey at the Feroz Shah Kotla as he led India to a historic 337-run over South Africa. The win gave India a 3-0 series win, their biggest series win over the Proteas and first in 11 years. (India Conquer South Africa at Kotla; Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav Help Win Series 3-0)
"All wins (in the series) were special but the Kotla win was the most special because we were made to work hard for it," said Kohli in the post-match presentation ceremony. (Ajinkya Rahane Dedicates Historic Series Victory to Chennai Flood Victims and Indian Army)
There came a time when India would have thought that the match would end in a draw, especially when South Africa captain Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers put up stubborn resistance at the start of day five. (Ajinkya Rahane, India's 'Most Complete', Bats His Way Into Record Books)
However, the Indian bowlers stuck to their guns and kept pegging away at the South African duo. They finally reaped rewards when Jadeja dismissed Amla for 25 to break the partnership after 253 balls.
Despite resistance from de Villiers, India's bowlers kept persisting and finally bowled out the visitors for 143 just after Tea on the final day.
"It's a team game and all 11 guys deserved credit for keeping their energies up when nothing was happening. We wanted to be 3-0 up. Our bowlers needed to show character and they did it after tea," said Kohli, who scored 44 in the first innings at Kotla and 88 in the second.
"We were surprised by their defence and how they approached the innings. We needed to be patient and bowlers should be proud of their effort. It was a proud moment that the number one side chose to adopt this tactic against us."
Throughout the series it has been the spinners who have give India the breakthrough at key junctures.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were the stars throughout the series with 31 and 23 wickets respectively, but at Kotla, pacer Umesh Yadav came to the party by removing Dane Vilas, following which the South Africans fell like a deck of cards.
"We have bowlers who have pace and reverse swing. Umesh's ability to reverse swing the ball is an asset," Kohli said.
"You need to take 20 wickets in a Test and we have given the bowlers extra responsibility and they have delivered brilliantly. I am very proud of our bowlers.
"Everyone needs to contribute to win the series. The bowlers and batsmen contributed. There was little to separate our top four batsmen and that's why it was a complete team effort."
Meanwhile, Proteas skipper Hashim Amla credited his team for hanging in there and sticking it out in tough conditions.
"Unfortunately we couldn't stay there till the end. You have do what's best for the team. We tried to take it as deep as possible and save the game. Credit to India they played better than us," said Amla.
"Winning the Twenty20s and ODIs were brilliant. We have learned a lot from this series. Tough series for our batsmen. We didn't manage to get enough runs but our bowlers did well, especially our seamers. Morne (Morkel) was exceptional in tough bowling conditions for pacers.