Sydney: Not many gave the Indian cricket team a chance in the World Cup after the horror tour of Australia but star batsman Virat Kohli said the players never stopped believing in themselves which helped them surprise the critics.
"To be honest, not many people gave us the chance, even to qualify for the semis and I know that for a fact when the tournament started. So we've surprised a lot of people, but we haven't surprised ourselves at all," Kohli told cricket.Com.Au in an interview.
"We knew that we had the capability and we had the kind of talent and the passion that's needed for us to be a successful international side in any format," he added.
India turned around their fortunes after a winless early Australian summer to be worthy defending champions in the 50-over showpiece event.
Kohli, who stood in as captain in two Test matches in place of the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said they never considered their performance a failure but only a launchpad for future success.
"We haven't had the results that we wanted but I in no way see this tour as a failure anywhere. And the way that we played in the Test series, the way that we've played this World Cup shows that.
"We can be really proud of the cricket we've played. The results I'm sure will follow if we keep playing in the same way and we have the same approach which is going to be consistent from this point onwards, so I think the results will start falling our way or falling into our basket in the future," said Kohli, who took over the Test captaincy after Mahendra Singh Dhoni retired post the Melbourne match and is captain-in-waiting in ODIs as well.
India are very close to another World Cup triumph as they take on co-hosts Australia in the second semi-final at the SCG tomorrow and Kohli knows the importance of the victory.
"Winning the World Cup and going back would be a really great achievement, especially knowing that it's happening in Australia," he said.