Scorecard | Match pictures | Day 1 | Day 2 | Sachin's 'last Test'
History was made at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday as India wrapped up their first-ever 4-0 series win over any opposition with a six-wicket verdict against Australia.
Set a presumably challenging 155 to win on a disintegrating third-day pitch, the chase was guided to perfection by Cheteshwar Pujara's 92-ball, unbeaten 82 as the target was realised in a shade above 31 overs.
Pujara's brilliance made sure that Ravindra Jadeja's maiden five-wicket haul, which had shot out Australia for 164 in their second innings, was not allowed to go in vain. For, after Murali Vijay (11) was bowled trying to reverse-sweep off-spinner Glenn Maxwell, India stuttered momentarily.
Virat Kohli (41), Sachin Tendulkar (1) and Ajinkya Rahane (1) got out within five runs of each other and MS Dhoni was dropped by wicket-keeper Mathew Wade off Nathan Lyon before he had opened his account. It is in the light of this minor batting collapse that Pujara’s sparkling half-century attains a new luminescence.
The Saurashtra batsman procured his runs at a fair clip, stroking eleven boundaries, not once allowing the pressure to build on a dicey wicket. Victory was attained when Dhoni, like he has so many time in his career, swung Lyon to the fence.
Jadeja was named Man of the Match for his first innings 43 and seven wickets, while Ashwin was declared Man of the Series for scalping 29 Australians across four Tests. Not since Harbhajan Singh against the same opposition in 2001 has an Indian bowler gained such a rich haul in a series.
It was indeed Jadeja’s left-arm spin that catalysed the match to a premature end. The 24-year-old was, in conjunction with Kohli, involved in several verbal duels with the opposing batsmen as Australia collapsed to 53/5 in their second innings. Jadeja dismissed the openers David Warner and Maxwell – the former accorded a colourful send-off – and also removed a resistant Ed Cowan (pushed down to No.3) with a sharp turner that spat from the surface.