Che guides tricky chase as India finish whitewash
India won the Delhi Test inside 3 days on Sunday to complete a 4-0 whitewash of Australia and take hold of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Cheteshwar Pujara struck his second fifty of the match to guide a tricky chase after Australia had been bowled out for 164 inside two sessions on Day 3.
Peter Siddle had earlier become the first no.9 batsman in Tests to hit two fifties in a Test, he also top scored for Australia in both innings of this match. His 52 had helped Australia post 262 in their first innings after R Ashwin had run through them for figures of 5/57.
Murali Vijay (57) and Cheteshwar Pujara (52) built an impressive 108 run opening partnership on Day 2 before Nathan Lyon caused a collapse, India sliding to 210/6. Ravindra Jadeja then chipped in with 43 to ensure India got a first innings lead.
Lyon’s 7/94, the best figures by a spinner in the series kept India’s lead to 10 but Australia failed to capitalize on their second innings, collapsing to 53/5 in the first session on Day 3. Ravindra Jadeja took 5/58 in the second innings as Australia crawled to 164, helped by Siddle’s second fighting knock of the game as India were set a target of 155 to win the fourth Test.
Murali Vijay played a poor shot early in India’s chase, bowled while trying a reverse sweep to push the scorecard to 19/1. Virat Kohli (41, 60b, 4x4) and Cheteshwar Pujara stabilized with a brisk 104 run partnership for the second wicket before Lyon trapped the former LBW. Sachin Tendulkar and debutant Ajinkya Rahane followed in quick succession, India sliding to 128/4 from 123/1 in just 3.4 overs.
Pujara held fort though, ticking off every run and at a good rate to push for a 3 day result. He chose an over from Maxwell to seal the chase, finding the boundary off three consecutive deliveries to help India cover the stretch from 142 to 154. MS Dhoni who set the tone for the series with his cavalier batting in Chennai in the first Test was present to hit the winning runs and a 4-0 payback for India’s defeat in Australia by the same margin in 2011-12.
R Jadeja was named Man of the Match for his match haul of 7/98. His 43 in the first innings helped India cross the Australian total while his 5/58 in the second innings ensured Australia were bowled out for a gettable total. R Ashwin who took 29 wickets in the series at 20.10 was named Man of the Series.
In 2010, Pujara had hit a calm half century to guide India to a series winning victory against Australia in Bangalore. He did one better by remaining unbeaten on 82* (92b, 11x4) at Delhi. He finished with 419 runs (avg 83.80), the second highest run-getter for the series while Virat Kohli came in fifth at 286 runs (avg 56.80).
The win is India’s 4-0 whitewash of any Test opponent and only Australia’s second 4-0 whitewash in Test cricket after their 4-0 blanking by South Africa in 1969-70.