After a hard-fought win in the final Test, Virat Kohli said he had a point to prove as most people didn't believe in their ability to win in these conditions. After the play was stopped early amid dramatic scenes on Friday, South Africa appeared to pull of an improbable win but their challenge fizzled out in the final session on Saturday, losing seven wickets in 16.3 overs.
"Definitely, the bowlers had to work really hard today," he said when asked if he would credit the bowlers for the win. "They didn't get much help from the wicket today, but the character that we showed today, it will give us the belief that we can do it again and keep it doing it. A lot of people didn't have belief in us, but as a team we knew that we were very close in the first two Tests too, and we knew that if we played better in pressure-situations than them, then we would win. And we did that in this Test match. This win was very important from our and the Indian team's point of view, and we were determined to win this match," he remarked.
India probably got the worst conditions to bat on this pitch, the first day when they opted to bat first and on the third day when the pitch seemed to have assumed diabolical proportions. Kohli thought the effort was right up there with the best wins that he has been part of.
"What I have been involved in, Lord's (2013) was very special because we were playing on a similar sort of pitch; not as fast as this, but it was very challenging and we had won their because of our batting efforts and the bowlers coming together well," he pointed out. "So, we had to show character in this game, and step up not for anyone else but for the belief of the team. When no one is believing in you, no one's backing you, it's very important to back yourselves as individuals. So, we never really cared about what people are saying about us," he observed.
Kohli further rubbed it into South Africa by saying that the pitch worked to their (India's) advantage and that the win was "really satisfying."
"Well, firstly we never complained about the tracks we played on," he stressed.
"Secondly when we saw the pitch, we knew it's going to be an equal chance for both sides. We decided to take the challenge head on, so it feels really, really satisfying to have won on a pitch that was supposed to have pace and bounce and it did but it played to our advantage."
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis admitted that they were outplayed by India and showered praise on the Indian attack.
"That's a fair assessment," he said when asked if such pitches close gap between the teams. "As I said before this Test in the press conference that certainly we know that if you ask for a wicket that has got a lot of assistance on, you are bringing the Indian seam attack into it. They are very skilful, they bowl a touch a fuller and are obviously used to bowling in Indian conditions where you have to attack the stumps, and they move the ball around both ways. That's what happened in this Test. Quite excessive movement. And although I would say that wasn't good enough, on our performance, we were outplayed by India," he offered.