India demolish Aussie aura, clinch series 4-0

Spinners do the magic
Last Updated 24 March 2013, 20:47 IST

Not so long ago, the Indian team and its skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had drawn flak for some gutless efforts in Test cricket and the cries for whole scale changes reached its zenith when they lost to England 1-2 at home last year.

Pushed into a desperate corner, India and Dhoni responded in the best possible manner, crushing Australia 4-0, the fourth win in a row coming at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Sunday. Chasing 155, Cheteswar Pujara made a calm unbeaten 82 to propel India to a six-wicket victory.

 At one go, Indians regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and showed visions of better days for this young team to their millions of fans. But no one could have blamed the supporters for being under the siege of trepidation when Australia landed in these shores more than a month ago.

But India in the series against Australia were a far cry from their humiliating 1-2 loss to England a few months ago. Even the omission of Gautam Gambhir ahead of the series and Virender Sehwag mid-way through the series didn’t affect the Indians.

Dhoni led the youngsters in stellar fashion and the young names responded to the task with aplomb. Virat Kohli made a hundred in Chennai and Dhoni conjured one of the best counter-attacking double centuries (224) in Test cricket that turned into a match-winning one. The knock had a rippling effect. Murali Vijay (167) and Cheteshwar Pujara (204) responded with inspiring knocks in Hyderabad before Shikhar Dhawan (187) took the breath away with a mind boggling Test century, fastest by a debutant, at Mohali.

The spinners, too, flourished. R Ashwin, man of the series with 29 wickets, got his act together and befuddled the Australians with his guile. He was well complemented by the irrepressible Ravindra Jadeja, who grabbed 24 wickets with his left-arm spin. Such was Ashwin and Jadeja’s mastery that the Australians struggled often to extend the Tests to their full quota of days.

On a roll

-India, for the first time, have won a Test rubber by four consecutive Test wins in a series.

-MS Dhoni became the first skipper to post  eight consecutive Test wins against Australia on Indian soil.

- Dhoni is the first Indian skipper to register a clean sweep in a series of four Tests against any side.

(Published 24 March 2013, 20:45 IST)

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