New Delhi:Team India is celebrating and the entire nation is celebrating with them. Their first Test series victory on Kiwi soil after 41 years has given the MS Dhoni-led team and their fans enough reasons to rejoice.
While the Indian players rued not finishing the series 2-0 in Wellington, they were ecstatic nonetheless.
"I'm very happy. We would have been happier with a win here (Wellington). We'll celebrate, won't tell you how but we will," said an excited Yuvraj Singh.
Skipper Dhoni also lavished praises on the efforts by his team throughout this tour.
"Overall, a very good team effort. Contributions came when they were needed. Wickets were on the flatter side, there wasn't much in it for the bowlers, so they had to keep changing their plans and improvising at times."
"We have set the benchmark. Next time when we come to New Zealand, people will expect us to win. You have achieved something that's big but the tough part is to maintain it, to sustain it. It never gets easy for a cricketer," he said.
The atmosphere too was "fantastic", felt the Captain Cool. "It couldn't get better. It was good from the very first game that we played. We lost the first couple of Twenty20 games, and then won the one-day and Test series.
"We have improved a lot, we have put in efforts. We wanted to improve in specific areas, which we did. A good learning curve for us, good exposure for some of the youngsters in the side. Overall, a very pleasing tour," he concluded.
The seniors of the team were no lesser delighted with the team's performance in New Zealand.
Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar termed this win very special. "We have done this after 41 years. It's very exciting," he said.
Sachin, who aggregated 344 runs in three Tests, is also satisfied with his individual performance.
"I'm happy with how I batted, and especially, glad with the way I moved. Personally for me, we all have our own benchmarks and we do our own thing. We don't worry about what's happening with the other. We try and do our best," said the champion batsman.
Rahul Dravid, who had a successful series with the bat and also broke the record for the most number of catches in Tests with 183 catches, felt India deserved to win the series.
"It's been a terrific win. It's been a great series. It's nice to come here and win. I've been here on three tours, but it's the first time we've won. So I'm really happy for the team and the boys. We deserved to win because we played better cricket," said Dravid.
Laxman, who played a match-saving innings in the Napier Test, seconded Dravid's opinion.
"Very satisfying that we've won a series for the first time. We dominated the first and third Test and when our backs were against the wall, we fought back hard in Napier," he said.
It wasn't all self-praise. Encomiums were showered on Team India not only by the former greats but also their opponents.
"I think you can throw Australia, South Africa and India and there is the three best teams in the world. It's hard to distinguish between the three at the moment. India outplayed us in all departments (in the Third Test)," said New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori.
Former greats also hailed the sensational performance by the Indian cricket team.
"The way this team kept on performing was amazing. I have watched so many Indian teams over the years and I think this is one of the best we ever had," said ex-cricketer Chandu Borde.
India's chief selector Krish Srikkanth appreciated team's consistency.
"This team has been performing consistently in recent times. What makes this team different is the way the boys come out with flying colours in difficult situations. They fought back against Australia in Bangalore, did the same against England in Chennai before the second Test against New Zealand in Napier," he said.
(With PTI inputs)