Under Kohli’s leadership, India had clinched the home series against Australia 2-1 in 2016/17. The Kohli and boys then scripted history as they defeated Australia in Australia 2-1 in their last tour Down Under.
“The satisfaction gained in registering India’s first series win in Australia after 71 years of heartbreak was immense,” cricket.com.au quoted Shastri as saying in ‘India’s 71-Year Test: The Journey to Triumph in Australia’ book.
“I cannot see Virat’s feat of winning against Australia both at home and away being emulated by another Indian captain for a very long time,” he added.
Shastri said a victory in Australia does not come easily and explained why the current Indian side deserves the respect.
“The great thing about success in Australia is that it does not come easily. As a professional sportsperson, you know that when you win the hard way, you command respect,” Shastri said.
“Indian teams have done well in Australia since the turn of the (21st) century, but did not have the depth of fast-bowling resources. That is why this Indian team commanded respect from the hard-to-please Aussies like few others in the past,” he added.
Kohli is on paternity leave but stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane ensured Team India does not face any hurdle in the absence of a regular skipper.
Rahane had stepped upon the occasion as he played a match-winning knock of 112 in the first innings and then hit the winning runs in the second essay to hand India a memorable Boxing Day Test win.
The four-match series between India and Australia currently stands at 1-1 and the third Test is slated to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from Thursday.
Rohit Sharma made a return to the Indian team for the Pink Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground while pacer Navdeep Saini is set to make his debut in the longest format of the game.
India on Wednesday named the playing XI for the Pink Test. Opening batsman Mayank Agarwal has been dropped from the side as Rohit replaces him. Gill will open the innings with Rohit after playing knocks of 45 and 35* in his debut Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Saini comes in for speedster Umesh Yadav. The latter sustained a strain in his left calf muscle on Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and has returned to India after he was ruled out of the series.
India’s playing XI: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin and Mohd. Siraj.