'A lot of people wrote us off. They said it was going to be a 4-0 whitewash. I am proud of the way we have competed.'
Australia captain Steve Smith on Tuesday apologised for letting his "emotions slip" during the aggressively-contested but lost Test series against India, saying that he was in his "own bubble" at times.
"At times I have been in my own bubble and have let my emotions slip. I apologise for that," Smith said at the end of the four-match series, which India won 2-1 to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
India defeated Australia by eight wickets in the fourth and final Test to seal the issue at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association stadium in Dharamsala.
It was probably the most competitive series that India played at home in recent years with not an inch given by the visitors.
The series had its share of controversies and hostilities that started with the infamous 'Brain Fade' of Smith, when he was caught on camera seeking clues from the dressing room while taking a DRS review call.
The incident snowballed into a massive furore after Indian captain Virat Kohli stopped just short of calling Smith a 'cheat'.
The hostilities didn't end after that and players from the two sides had regular on-field run-ins.
However, putting it all aside, Smith was gracious in defeat and lauded India for their dominance despite Australia's resolute show.
"(It was a) magnificent series. One of the best I have been a part of. Credit to India, they are a fantastic cricket side, particularly in their backyard. If you give them a sniff, they will take that," the Australian skipper said.
Before the start of the series, many predicted that the Smith-led young Australian side will be whitewashed by the Indians.
But the visitors showed tremendous fighting spirit and managed to surprise with their resolute performances, quite creditable given that they didn't have a lot of experience of playing in the sub-continent.
"For Australia, this is the toughest conditions for us. To challenge them so much, I am proud. A lot of people wrote us off. They said it was going to be a 4-0 whitewash. I am proud of the way we have competed. We have probably let a few moments slip," Smith said.
"Against India you can't do that. The middle session yesterday, when you lose five for 70, you put yourself behind. Credit to India. Umesh (Yadav) was fantastic. They have all been fantastic."
Smith also praised the picturesque HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala, which was hosting a Test match for the first time.
"What an amazing ground. The wicket was a good one. Pace and bounce, that's what we like. It suited spinners as well. If you are willing to bat time, you can get runs," he said.