Cricket: India regain Border-Gavaskar Trophy in style

It took 82 minutes on the fourth day of the decisive fourth Test at Dharamsala today for India to score the required 87 runs and beat Australia by eight wickets and regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy

PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist
PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist

NH Sports Bureau

In the most ‘Unindian’ conditions at Dharamsala, with the ball bouncing and spinning like nowhere else, an aggressive stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane and Lokesh Rahul scored quick runs to end the match in the very first session of the fourth day. Here are the highlights.

  • It was India's seventh Test series win in a row—continuing the dominance that started in 2015 with Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh being annihilated.

  • India ended the domestic season by losing just one of the 13 Tests but registering series wins over New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and now Australia, in the process becoming the Number one Test side.

  • The stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane did a terrific job, gushed Australian veteran Ian Chappell, who pointed out that India is lucky to have a stand-in captain as aggressive as Rahane.

  • The victory was even more sweet for the Indians because conditions at Dharamsala favoured the guests.

  • The visiting captain Steve Smith ended up scoring the highest runs, the highest average and three centuries but on the losing side.

  • The debutant left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav made a sensational debut for India by bagging four wickets for just 68 runs.

  • An elated Virat Kohli, who had to sit out of this match because of a shoulder injury, said after the match, "The changes we made in our fitness regimen have paid off. Guys have been able to sustain the performance throughout the season."

  • Adjudged Man of Match and Man of the series, Ravindra Jadeja declared, "When I batted, I was thinking to take my time and then Matthew Wade chirped from behind. That motivated me and I told myself, “If I can respond to him with runs, it will be great."

  • Fittingly, Rahul finished the match with a hard-run three and celebrated wildly. In fact, Rahul ran in towards the Australian dressing room before taking off his helmet and letting out a wild war cry -- an indication of how intensely the series had been fought.

  • 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.

  • Smith also praised the HPCA Stadium."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.

Peter Miller said the contest between two talented but flawed sides was decided by two hours on the third day of the Test match, when the Australian batting collapsed.

With PTI inputs.

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Published: 28 Mar 2017, 1:58 PM