Indian skipper Virat Kohli lauded India's first-class cricket and stressed on the importance of the domestic set-up after India trumped Australia by 137 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Sunday.
Player of the Match, Jasprit Bumrah, too resonated his captain's view as he credited the Ranji Trophy, India's premier domestic First-Class competition, for his success.
“Our first-class cricket is amazing, which is why we won. Credit must go to first-class set-up in India, which challenges our fast bowlers in India, and that helps them abroad,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
"Our first class cricket is amazing ... credit has to go to our first class setup back home."
— #7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 30, 2018
When asked the fast bowler how his body was holding up after sending down 140 overs in three weeks, "Not too bad," replied Bumrah.
"We train for this because we want to play cricket for longer periods of time. So our training comes into play. Yes, we have been use to bowling lot of overs in Ranji Trophy, so that was actually great grooming for us (fast bowlers) to gradually graduate to Test cricket," said the Gujarat based pacer after claiming nine wickets in MCG Test, the best by any Indian bowler.
Interesting post-match presention. Both Virat Kohli and Player of the Match Jasprit Bumrah stressing on how vital the Ranji Trophy and the First Class structure has been in grooming the Indian players for greater things in Test cricket. Good, classy counter attack. #AUSvIND
— Ajesh Ramachandran (@Edged_and_taken) December 30, 2018
The comments from the players come after few jibes were taken at the quality of India's domestic structure of cricket. Australian commentators on air during the Test, particularly Kerry O'Keefe and Mark Waugh, were observed making some remark in the name of humour which didn't go down well with the visiting side or their supporters.
On the fourth day, India's bowling coach Bharat Arun had remarked that they should "channelise all the hurt and that should answer the questions," when asked about the comments made on air.
Fox Sports commentator, O'Keefe, first called the bowlers against whom Mayank Agarwal scored his triple century in First-Class cricket as "canteen staff".
However, O'Keefe, later at the end of first day, apologised for his comments.
India head coach Ravi Shastri didn't hold back to return the favour on the second day in an interview with the same channel.
"Mayank's got a message for Kerry," said Shastri. "When you do open your canteen, he wants to come and smell the coffee. And he wants to compare it to the ones back home in India. Is the coffee better here in your canteen, or the one back home?"
O'Keefe attracted more criticism after he took a dig at Chesteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja.
"Why would you name your kid Cheteshwar Jadeja," O'Keefe said while commentating.
After the Test match, O'Keefe also wrote an open letter to the fans and players after receiving aspersion from both parties for his comments that stirred the controversy.