“It’s rare that you get to see that whoever gets a chance is performing.”
India captain Virat Kohli heaped praise on his team after the 3-0 whitewash over South Africa, saying he was proud of the “team-first” culture his players had cultivated.
This is the first time India have won all matches in a Test series against the South Africans. Kohli’s India are ranked No 1 in the world in the ICC Test Team Rankings and performed every bit like a team holding that honour.
They clinically wiped out South Africa with bat and ball – and their win in the third and final Test in Ranchi, which concluded yesterday, was also their largest against the Proteas, by an innings and 202 runs.
“It’s a spectacular team performance,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference. “It’s rare that you get to see that whoever gets a chance is performing.
“It’s something to be happy about for us, that we’ve created a culture where people don’t think about themselves and put the team first. Only then are these performances possible.”
While India performed exceptionally well as a collective unit, several individuals stood out for their brilliance. Most notable was Rohit Sharma, who in his first series as Test opener, racked up 529 runs at 132.25, with three hundreds in four innings, including his maiden double-century in Ranchi.
“As an opener, Rohit has an anticipation of the challenges that he may face,” Kohli said. “In one-day cricket, he has been one of the best in the world for quite some time. So to overcome that and to have batted the way he did, because of the rate at which he scored, we had so much time to bowl and dismiss the opposition twice.
“Credit goes to the player because he was able to overcome the pressure and anxiety to produce a Man of the Series performance in his first very first series as an opener.”
Meanwhile, South Africa find themselves languishing in seventh place on the ICC World Test Championship table following their 3-0 series loss.
With 120 points on offer during the series, India walked away with a full complement while South Africa are yet to get off the mark in the new ranking-style points system which will run over a two-year period. The Proteas are only ahead of Bangladesh and Pakistan as both nations have not yet played a match in the World Test Championship.
The Proteas are behind the West Indies in sixth place.
Topping the list are India who have 240 points after winning five Test matches in a row. New Zealand are second with 60 points, have played just two Test with a win and a loss.
Sri Lanka are third, also on 60 points.