New Delhi: After India's emphatic seven-wicket win over Australia in the fifth and final ODI match of the series in Nagpur, coach Ravi Shastri on Sunday hailed Virat Kohli & Co for their relentless pursuit to be the best team.
"If you have got to be a good team, you have to be relentless. You have got to repeat what you did on Tuesday on Friday, and then on Sunday, and then on Tuesday again," said Shastri.
Chasing a modest target of 243 runs at Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, India won the match by seven wickets with 43 balls remaining. The win helped India humble the reigning World champions 4-1 in the five-match series.
India's cause was helped by openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, with both playing majestic knocks.
Here's the video, courtesy BCCI:
— Cricket-atti (@cricketatti) October 1, 2017
Shastri, however, termed the chase a difficult one, and said that his boys have saved the best for the last.
"We saved best batting for the last. It wasn't an easy track to bat on and the 'hitman' (Rohit's nickname in the Indian dressing room) made it look so easy. It was a treat to the eye. The way the guys showed character once again when Australia were 60 for no loss. We were staring at 275-280 but all the bowlers chipped in and got team right back in the match," he added.
He also hailed the emergence of Hardik Pandya. The young all-rounder was the all-out star of the series, scoring 222 runs and also took six wickets.
"He (Hardik) is a dangerous guy. He can be a floater in the batting order -- tremendous striker of the ball, especially when he hits spinners. I have not seen too many players strike against spinners like that. Yuvraj Singh in his hey days may be. This guy can clear any ground in the world, be it second ball, third ball. It's the exuberance of youth,"
India won the first three matches of the series in Chennai, Kolkata and Indore. But the reigning World champions hit back with an emphatic 21-run win in Bengaluru, which snapped India's nine-match winning run. In fact, Kohli & Co were looking for a tenth straight win, a feat no other Indian side had ever achieved.
The ODIs will be followed by a three-match T20I series, starting Saturday (October 7) in Ranchi.