We wanted to bounce back hard - Kohli revels in India fightback
Virat Kohli said India had a point to prove to themselves in Bangalore and was thrilled with the response of his team.
A delighted Virat Kohli hailed the character of his India side following their second-Test victory over Australia and said he was always confident of defending 188 in the fourth innings on Tuesday.
India, who are now guaranteed to remain the world's number-one ranked Test side at the end of this four-match series, suffered a stunning 333-run defeat in the opening contest with Australia after being skittled for 105 and 107 in Pune.
Kohli's men were then rolled for 189 in their first innings in Bangalore, but fought back impressively and dismissed Australia for 112 on a wearing fourth-day surface to triumph by 75 runs.
"Especially after losing the first Test the way we did, we wanted to bounce back hard and not show anyone but show ourselves how well we can compete," said Kohli in the post-match presentation.
"When you play so much Test cricket and you win so many games you're bound to lose a couple, but the way the guys bounced back in this one, they showed their intent, they showed the belief that from any situation we can win the game."
Victory in the 2nd Test against Australia assures India a No.1— ICC Media (@ICCMediaComms) March 7, 2017
finish on the April 1 cut-off date and a cash prize of $1 million #INDvAUS
Ravichandran Ashwin was the star of the final day, returning 6-41 as Australia collapsed, but Kohli was swift to highlight two other key passages of play.
The India skipper praised the efforts of his bowlers at the start of day two, which Australia began on 40 without loss, and the key second-innings partnership of 118 between Cheteshwar Pujara (92) and Ajinkya Rahane (52) that enabled India to set a demanding target.
"I think the first session on day two was game-changing for us," explained Kohli. "We just stopped the momentum for them, there and then. The moment they did not score big in the first innings [Australia were dismissed for 276], we knew we had a chance in the second innings.
"Historically, teams have chased totals down on this ground, but since the wicket has been re-laid we know what the scores in first-class cricket have been - 120 is the best any team has done, so we knew if we got anything over 150 they were going to be under pressure if they lose a couple, and it panned out exactly the way we thought about it."
5 - Ravichandran Ashwin (269) is now 5th in the list of all-time leading wicket-takers for India. Ladder. pic.twitter.com/EKVuWd1bkC— OptaJim (@OptaJim) March 7, 2017
Kohli added of Pujara and Rahane's stand: "After conceding the lead, I think that was a champion partnership.
"I would say they're the two best Test players we've got in the side and they showed so much character, technique and heart to pull the team out of trouble, get to a lead and then consolidate from there. The way they batted out there was absolutely pleasing to see."