India’s mission to save Test cricket
One day, Australia might want to thank India for giving them such a horrible beating because it might just turn out to be the moment Test cricket was saved from extinction.
Now's not the time because the Australians are still stinging after being given such a brutal spanking in losing at home to India for the first time in 71 years.
The time will surely come if it is the moment that breathes new life into Test cricket but not because of anything Australia did.
Instead, it's the country that has so often been accused of killing Test cricket that is now on a crusade to save the game's traditional format.
India have already conquered the world in the shorter formats of the game but now they're on a mission to rescue the same version they have been accused of destroying.
"I see this series as a stepping stone for this team to inspire the next lot of Test cricketers," India's triumphant skipper Virat Kohli said.
"If Indian cricket respects Test cricket, we know the fans are going to come in and watch Test cricket.
"So the vision is simple, to promote Test cricket back home, to make kids realise there's no better satisfaction than playing Test cricket and winning series like these."
Kohli is spot on. Test cricket desperately needs India to support it but Australia needs to pitch in and help as well.
India is doing its bit, developing a production line of players with the patience to excel in the longest format while Australia is struggling to find anyone new apart from whiz kids doing T20 trick shots.
To save Test cricket, King Kohli knew his team had to do something special and slay the dragon to show their billion followers that nothing is impossible.
For India, that meant only one thing: beating Australia in Australia, a feat they had never managed to pull off since gaining independence in 1947, at least until now.
"Doing well in Test cricket, it improves you as a person not just as a cricketer so we just want to send that message," Kohli said.
"In a world where a lot of people want the easy stuff, matches that finish in the evening, I think it's very important to spread that message of Test cricket.
"As long as the purest format stays alive, cricket is in a healthy space so we just want to promote that and for that we will have to play the kind of cricket we play.
"If we play for boring draws and no results and the game going nowhere it won't make any difference to Test cricket globally so we definitely want to build on this."
India's mission to beat Australia began long before last month's first Test in Adelaide.
They'd secretly been plotting Australia's downfall for more than a year and hatching their plans for the last 12 months, against South Africa and England.
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The fact they were prepared to sacrifice those series to experiment with ways of beating Australia is all the proof you need to know about just how important this series was, both for India and Test cricket.
"It's obviously a very proud moment but more so because for the last 12 months we understand what we have gone through as a team," Kohli said.
"This is the cherry on top of the cake and in the 10 years that I've played it's the proudest moment I have experienced."
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