At the end of the fourth and final Test in Dharamsala, which India won by eight wickets, Kohli said he no longer considered Australian cricketers his friends after being targeted both on and off the field by them.
A reticent Rahane, completely different in character from Kohli, marshalled his resources well in what could be termed as the best out of the 13 Test wins.
Cummins found Vijay’s edge with one which left him then Glenn Maxwell threw out the middle stump at the non-striker’s end after a frightful mix-up between Pujara and Rahul.
But, the two players Ajinkya and Rahul ensured, there were no great alarms after India had lost Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara in quick succession.
Rahane made 38 off 27 balls. An undeterred Rahane pulled the ball nonchalantly over mid-wicket for a six. At home this season, the Indians have also beaten New Zealand 3-0, England 4-0, and Bangladesh in a one-off test.
Paceman Pat Cummins’ successful return to test cricket after more than five years in the wilderness, called up when spearhead Mitchell Starc abandoned the tour through injury, was another positive from the series.
“I apologise for that”, Smith said at the end of the four-match series, which India won 2-1 to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Ravindra Jadeja was the standout performer for India in this Test.
Australia has set India a target of 106, with three Indian bowlers picking up three-wicket hauls. Without Jadeja’s stupendous effort, India’s fortunes would certainly have fluctuated.
But it were the Indian seamers and Umesh Yadav in particular that handed the Test to the hosts on a platter. “Not one or two individuals who have stood out”, Kohli said. “We didn’t want to lose wickets in the first session even if we didn’t get runs”.
After the bitter parting shot by Kohli, Smith also revealed that an invitation extended to India for reconciliation drinks was rebuffed, ending the series in acrimony. Credit to India, they are a fantastic cricket side, particularly in their backyard.
The hard-fought series witnessed plenty of acrimony, the most notable being Kohli’s criticism of counterpart Steve Smith for gesturing towards his dressing room for guidance on whether to review an lbw decision in the second test at Bengaluru. “Unbelievable, the kind of fitness and desire the fast bowlers have shown, it has been game-changing”, Kohli said in a post-match presentation.