Ahmedabad : Reflecting on the 2-1 Border-Gavaskar Trophy triumph, India head coach Rahul Dravid felt the side found people who were able to put in special performances whenever the need came.
Having won the first two Tests in Nagpur and Delhi to retain the trophy, India lost the third Test in Indore by nine wickets and were under pressure going into the final Test in Ahmedabad, which ended in a draw.
"It was a really hard-fought series, there were moments where we were put under extreme pressure by a really good cricket team and we responded. Whenever we needed someone to step up and put in a special performance, we found it."
"Rohit led the way in the first Test with a brilliant hundred and it was bookended by Virat Kohli's brilliant 186. In the middle, we had performances from Ashwin, Jadeja, Axar, and Shubman there. I've probably missed out a few," said Dravid to the broadcasters.
Asked about a standout aspect of the team in the series, Dravid said, "I think our fight stood out. Whenever we were under pressure with our backs to the wall we had to respond and we always found that. It's one of the heartening things about coaching this team. People want to stand up and take responsibility."
On Day 5, India managed to qualify for the World Test Championship final for the second successive time, where they will again face Australia from June 7-11 at The Oval. Dravid revealed the team was keeping a close eye on proceedings in Christchurch, where New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by two wickets on the last ball.
"We just qualified at lunchtime today. I wasn't counting my chickens before they hatched. We'll celebrate this for starters. It is going to be a challenge. There's going to be a lot of logistics involved given the IPL final is only a week before the WTC final. We'll think about it."
"It's not easy to produce results home and away. To get the chance to play in the Oval again, it is a great thing to put the performances and play the final again."
Dravid, who had also coached Shubman Gill during his India U19 days, was happy with the young opener's progress, especially with him making a sparkling 128 in Ahmedabad. "It has been some exciting 4-5 months for Shubman. Scoring a hundred in the white ball format, scoring a double hundred, and century here."
"Coming up and maturing, taking on the responsibility, putting up the performances that are in demand. Works hard for his skills, great opportunity for him to learn from Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma, to watch Steve Smith bat in the opposition. Lovely kid, a good thing for him to learn and grow."
Dravid signed off by praising Australia's spin troika of veteran Nathan Lyon, as well as youngsters, offie Todd Murphy and left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann, who were on their first Test tours of India.
"It has been absolutely brilliant. He (Lyon) has been exceptional in the way he bowled. Just the kind of pressure or the control he gave. And also the two spinners they came with -- Matt Kuhnemann and Todd Murphy were brilliant. The great thing for them to not leak runs and maintain the pressure."
"Some of the players were saying like Panesar and Swann, they haven't played a quality spin attack, but to have this attack with Nathan Lyon has been a brilliant thing."
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