On the bucket list of every Indian cricket lover, Test series wins away from home against Australia and South Africa were permanent items. There were times, especially against Australia, when the box was on the verge of being ticked. But like water running through fingers, the chances slipped away. This time, finally, captain Kohli and his determined, methodical men have accomplished the elusive Down Under. India couldn’t have hoped for a better New Year’s gift.

A 3-1 result would have been a more accurate depiction of India dominating the series, especially the last two Tests. But 2-1 is fine too. Now only South Africa remains in the bucket list. India is world’s No. 1 Test team in the ICC rankings. Without away series wins against the stronger countries, the ranking lacked real lustre. In 2018, India battled hard and intense in South Africa and England only to finish second-best on both occasions. The pounding of Australia, current world no 5 but always difficult to beat at home, brings more worth to India’s rank.

Fans of a certain vintage would appreciate the triumph more. An Australian tour always meant setting the alarm to listen to the radio commentary on cold winter mornings, listening to parents wonder why one couldn’t show such unfailing devotion to studies. This is overcoming decades of disappointments and near-misses