India v Australia: India reclaim Border-Gavaskar Trophy with 2-1 series victory

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Australia's captain Steven Smith, left, and India's captain Virat Kohli shake hands after India won their fourth test cricket match against Australia in Dharmsala, India, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. India won the Border-Gavaskar trophy and the series. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

India beat Australia by 8 wickets to reclaim Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Opener Lokesh Rahul hit an unbeaten half-century as India crushed Australia by eight wickets to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on the fourth day of the fourth Test at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala on Tuesday. India thus won the four-Test series 2-1 to end the home season on an emphatic note.

As expected, the Aussies came out all guns blazing to make it sure that India certainly do not romp to victory. Murali Vijay (8) was having a tough time in the middle and Pat Cummins ended his misery by having him caught behind by Matthew Wade with a good outswinger with India still 60 runs short of victory.

India’s highest run scorer in this series Cheteshwar Pujara failed to trouble the scorers when he was run out for a duck with a direct hit from Glenn Maxwell. Pujara tapped a Cummins delivery to the covers and went off for a quick single. Lokesh Rahul responded but hesitated and for a moment both the batsmen were standing in the middle of the crease. Maxwell, the fastest Australian fielder, ran in and in one swift movement picked up the ball and with a direct hit knocked the middle stump out of the ground at the non-striker’s end.
Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane ensured India didn’t have any more hiccups as the Indian opener scored a solid half-century but it was the whirlwind 38-run knock of the Indian captain that nailed the series for India in an emphatic fashion.

Cummins came round the wicket to intimidate Rahane to start the 20th over and banged the first ball short. An undeterred Rahane pulled the ball nonchalantly over mid-wicket for a six. Next ball was pitched short again but wide outside off and anticipating it brilliantly, Rahane gave himself room and smashed the ball over the covers for a six for probably the shot of the series. A gutsy statement made.

India lost just one Test in this home season of 13 Tests and ended it with a victory in this hard and bitterly-fought series in which both teams have looked each other in the eye but neither has blinked. This is also the fourth consecutive series victory at home for India against Australia after 2008/09 (2-0), 2010/11 (2-0) and 2012/13 (4-0).

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