The Virat Kohli-led Indian team is sure different. They may not have the skill of the earlier teams. Their techniques might not be necessarily the right ones. They may not exude the same grace as earlier Indian teams did. But what they have in loads is will. The will to fight fire with fire.
At no given point in time does this side concede giving up. They keep going at it until the opposition loses it or eventually they lose it. It is the captain who has spearheaded this seismic character change. India don’t just win they bully opponents who trigger them.
We look at 5 such instances where this current team gave it right back:
#5 Johannesburg 
India’s tour to South Africa in 2018 was a high-voltage series. The South African team were adamant on serving India hostile pitches. They ensured that they curated pitches that assist the home side. In the process, they ended up serving a poor wicket at the 3rd Test in Wanderers, Johannesburg. The game was an arm tussle.
Faf du Plessis, the then captain had publicly challenged the Indian team on this pitch. India beautifully counterpunched to notch up a famous victory. This win set them up for tough overseas challenges in the future.
#4 Mumbai 
India were all over England in the 2016-17 Test series. They already pocketed a 2-0 lead in 3 games with 2 Tests to play. Virat Kohli was in a sensational form that series. He scored runs for fun. But James Anderson had none of those. He dismissed Kohli as being a home bunny.
This did not go down well with Ravichandran Ashwin. He went hard at Anderson post the game mocking him for his remarks. Ashwin who had picked 12 wickets in the game kept going at him. Ironically it was Kohli who had to stop an agitated Ashwin.
#3 Melbourne 
The Australian media had got right behind their team post levelling the 4-match series 1-1 at Perth. Tim Paine, the Australian captain needled the entire team. The Australian think tank believed this is the right way to go about it against the Indian team. Little did they know what was in store. Indian pacers put on a performance for the ages. Jasprit Bumrah’s 6-for destroyed them at MCG in the 3rd Test. India went on to win the series 2-1 thanks to the top-notch performance in this game.
#2 Sydney 
Tim Paine had become the first Australian captain to lose a home Test series against India [2018-19]. Paine was at the helm even when India toured in 2020-21. Heading into Sydney, the series was tied at 1-1 heading into the 3rd Test at Sydney. Chasing a score of 400+, India were battling hard on the final day to save the Sydney Test.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari put their bodies on line to hold the fort. Paine frustrated with Ashwin’s stoic defence remarked that he can’t wait for him to come to Gabba. Ashwin responded saying he can’t wait for Paine to come to India which might be his last series as well. But Ashwin won the final battle when an injury-ridden young Indian team breached fortress Gabba and won the series 2-1. A sledgehammer for the ages!
#1 Lords 
This Lords Test match will be remembered for a long time. In a year where India had conquered Gabba, it’s quite a feat that this match united the entire nation. On day 3 of the 2nd Test, Jasprit Bumrah bowled a barrage of bouncers to James Anderson. This rattled not just the veteran but the entire England team.
It was on expected lines that the English will have a go at Bumrah. They certainly when he walked into bat. England resorted to short-ball ploy without any success. This rankled them further. Jos Buttler got into Bumrah’s ears. But Bumrah didn’t take anything lying down. He put on a stellar defiance stand along with Shami.
Kohli urged his team to make England feel hell in the huddle before going to defend the score. He wanted this win to reverberate forever at this iconic venue. India went berserk and intimidated the English on their home soil. They registered one of their most special wins. India won the game on 16 August, a day after Independence Day. It was poetic justice of the highest order.