Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and the start of a promising rivalry

Sydney: India may have hung on to claim a draw against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday, limiting the series defeat to 2-0, but the four-test series will be remembered more for the performances of opposing young captains Virat Kohli of India and Australia's Steve Smith.

Kohli scored four tons in the series, an effort matched by Australia's stand-in skipper Steve Smith, who is the heir apparent to the injured Michael Clarke as permanent captain, and as young leaders they may be establishing a longstanding rivalry.

Smith was named man of the series after an aggregate of 769 runs — with four hundreds and two half-centuries — which surpassed Don Bradman's record of 715 runs in five tests in 1947-48 as the most runs in an Australia-India series.

 Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and the start of a promising rivalry

Virat Kohli was in exceptional form. AP

The 25-year-old's 117 in the fourth test also matched the feats of Bradman (vs. South Africa in 1931-32) and South Africa great Jacques Kallis (vs. West Indies in 2003-04) in scoring four hundreds in four consecutive tests of a series.

"It's been a pretty special summer for me personally, with some of the results that I've got," Smith said after his latest hundred. "I've felt good throughout the whole series. I'm really happy with where my form is at and my approach to batting at the moment."

The 26-year-old Kohli marked his elevation to India's captaincy by smashing his fourth century of the series in Sydney.

Kohli, who was appointed captain when Mahendra Singh Dhoni suddenly retired after the third test, produced an unbeaten 140 at the SCG to go with his twin centuries in the first test at Adelaide and his highest score of 169 in Melbourne's third test.

The 26-year-old Kohli was a target of both verbal barbs on the field and from parochial home crowds around the country, but rose to the occasion by scoring 685 runs for the series to pass Rahul Dravid's record of 617 runs in a series (2003-04) for an Indian batsman in Australia.

"To have the whole Australian crowd and 11 players who want to irritate me and get me out has been challenging but it has been enjoyable," said Kohli. "We respect the way they play and both teams know this was a strong fight and enjoyed it equally.

"It has brought out the best in me. This is certainly the best test series that I have had so far."


Updated Date: Jan 10, 2015 15:43:49 IST