"This is the toughest tour ever. Playing it in Covid times, [going through] quarantine times and with the multiple injuries, nothing comes close to this," he said. "I got emotional. I am not someone who generally has tears in his eyes, but this is unreal. What these guys have pulled off will go down in history as one of the greatest series ever played. When you look at the Covid situation and state of injuries and then to show the stomach for a fight after being bowled out for 36 is unimaginable."
What makes the win truly shocking:
Shastri was effusive in his praise for Rahane, especially in handling the inexperienced bowling attack. "We were left with no choices," he said of the attack - between them, the bowling group had a combined experience of four Tests, with two of them, Washington Sundar and T Natarajan, debuting.
Barely 11 fit men to put on the park, with six of their first-choice bowlers, two of whom had made match-defining contributions with the bat, lost to injury (one more would be incapacitated in the first innings of the match) and two middle-order batsmen, in addition to their captain, gone too. The number of wickets taken by the bowlers of the two teams read 1033 to 13, going into the game.
And their captain loses the toss, his third in a row, at a ground where no opposition team has ever mounted a successful chase of over 200. And Australia's bowling attack is one of their best ever.