India seal series in style


India made short work of the 106 runs they needed to win the fourth Test against Australia claiming an 8 wicket victory that gives them a 2-1 series win.

Lokesh Rahul took a lead role in guiding India past the victory target as he hit yet another fifty in a series where he has been super consistent.

India may have suffered from a case of nerves in the fourteenth over as they first lost Murali Vijay (8) to a Pat Cummins jaffer and then saw Cheteshwar Pujara (0) run out off the final ball of the same over leaving the hosts 46 for 2.

But stand in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and that man Rahul seized control once more and saw India to an 8 wicket victory.

Rahul recorded his sixth fifty in seven innings along the way as India won a series after having trailed for only the fourth time in their Test history.

Rahul scored 51 off 76 balls while Rahane ended on 38 not out off 43 balls.

At the post-match presentation Rahul said: “After Pune, I knew I couldn’t play my shots, it was a big restriction.

“I love to play my shots, dominate the spinners, but I had to play a different game. Pretty disappointed I couldn’t convert, but right now nothing else matters. Here I took a few knocks on the body. All I was telling myself, take a few hits for the team.

“I don’t know what else was running in my mind. The way Jinks came out and started hitting Cummins for sixes… He just came out and said I am going to dominate.”

India’s star in this series, Pujara, said: “Fantastic series.

“Especially after the disappointment of the first Test. We probably wanted to win 3-1, but we are happy with 2-1. The way the fast bowlers bowled in the second innings was fabulous. We have been having good partnerships.

“I just told him we didn’t want to to lose wickets in the first session on day two even if we didn’t get runs. We knew if we didn’t lose wickets, we could score big.

“The run rate was not that important. I would like to keep going if there were a few matches. I really enjoyed this home season, and hope to continue next season.”

The losing skipper Steve Smith, who also hit three hundreds in the series, said after the defeat: “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. For Australia, this is the toughest conditions for us.

“To challenge them so much, I am proud. The middle session yesterday, when you lose five for 70, you put yourself behind. Credit to India. Umesh was fantastic. They have all been fantastic. 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. Against India you can’t do that. 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. I have been pretty intense throughout this series. I really wanted to do well for the team. At times I have been in my own bubble and have let my emotions slip. I apologise for that.”