India finally wrapped up their drawn-out home season with a win in Dharamsala, clinching the hotly-contested Bordar-Gavaskar series by 2-1, as their batsmen successfully hunted down Australia’s target of 106 with eight wickets to spare on day four of the decisive match on Tuesday (March 28). India’s marathon home season has yielded 12 wins, four draws, and only one defeat.
After India had restricted Australia for just 137 in a splendid bowling effort on day three, the visitors entered the fourth morning with only slightest of hopes, with India needing just 87 more with all wickets still intact. But that didn’t mean the match was over, as Australia pace bowlers came out all guns blazing.
Pat Cummins gave them an early breakthrough in form of Murli Vijay, who was caught behind for 8. Pujara’s stay at the crease was cut short by a Maxwell throw when he and Rahul hesitated in taking a single. India suddenly found themselves two down with 60 runs still required. But Rahul and Rahane hardly put a foot wrong in the overs that followed, as they steadily accumulated runs to snuff off last of Australia’s fight.
Rahane first pulled a 146kph bouncer from Cummins into the crowd to showcase his class, and, on very next ball, slapped another six over the cover fence to seal a memorable series win for the hosts.
“Really enjoyed the game. Credit to all the boys, not only in this series, but throughout the season. Everyone stepped up when needed. Really happy as a captain, unfortunately Virat got injured for this game. I thought the way Kuldeep bowled after lunch was great. He was bowling really well in the nets and he has the X-factor in him. We all had the confidence in Kuldeep. I felt the bowlers from the other end also maintained the pressure. The kind of bowling Umesh, Bhuvi, Ishant, Shami did throughout the season was good to see from the slip and gully region.” Ajinkya Rahane — captain India said.
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“It was a magnificent series, probably one of the best I have been part of so far. I thought we played some very good cricket throughout the series. We probably had our opportunities at times. Credit to India, they are a fantastic cricket side, particularly in their own backyard here. If you give them a sniff, they will take it, so credit to India for winning the series 2-1 . It was a fantastic learning curve for us. India is one of the toughest places to tour for us Australians. The way we adapted and challenged India in these conditions was fantastic. Guys came out with really good plans and I am really proud of the boys the way they competed throughout the series.” Steven Smith — captain Australia said.
India 106 for 2 (Rahul 51*) and 332 (Jadeja 63, Rahul 60, Pujara 57, Lyon 5-92) beat Australia 300 (Smith 111, Wade 57, Warner 56, Kuldeep 4-68) and 137 (Maxwell 45, Jadeja 3-24, Ashwin 3-29, Umesh 3-29) by eight wickets
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