As day 4 of the final Test began, India needed just 87 runs to win. And while they got there easily to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the win didn’t come without some suspense. As has often been the case in the series so far, India and Australia went hammer and tongs in the search of the win.
After India clinched the series, Virat Kohli said this was a changed side from the one that would “give it away easily after losing one or two sessions.”
This team is certainly different – this team can fight back. Here are all the twists and turns from Dharamsala in what was an epic Test.
India 0-1 Australia
With India losing Virat Kohli minutes before the start of the match, it was something of a double whammy to lose the toss as well. Make it a triple whammy when David Warner was dropped off the very first ball of the match. Just one ball bowled and already so much going against the hosts.
India 0-2 Australia
India did get Matt Renshaw for just 1, but Steve Smith and Warner were imperious after that. Smith was blazing away, Warner was playing himself into some form. The former scored a ton and the latter a half-century. The Aussies were cruising at 131-1 at lunch.
Australia 2-1 India
And then Kuldeep Yadav happened….
He got Warner with a flipper that Shane Warne would have been proud of. He got Peter Handscomb with a ripper of a chinaman — a peach of a delivery and one that he said was his favourite dismissal of the day. He got Glenn Maxwell with a googly. He got Pat Cummins with a traditional tossed-up delivery.
Australia went from 144 for 2 to 300 all out.
India 2-2 Australia
Two-thirds of day two goes in India’s favour. Australia were extremely disciplined with their bowling, but KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane were solid. India lost just two wickets in two sessions. The three batsmen scored 163 runs to eat into Australia’s first innings lead of 300.
India 2-3 Australia
But Australia hit back through Nathan Lyon. The spinner took four big wickets in one session and even before the second new ball was taken, India were six down.
Pujara, Rahane, Karun Nair and R Ashwin were all gone in a jiffy. That meant Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja had a lot of work to do.
India 3-3 Australia
Saha was dropped in the first over with the 2nd new ball. Jadeja was then given out first ball of the 3rd day, but the DRS saved him, just five minutes before conking off due to a power cut.
India rode their luck and the two stitched up a 96-run partnership. Jadeja hit four sixes in his majestic 63 – the highest score in India’s innings. With four wickets still in hand, the lead had been erased.
India 3-4 Australia
And then came another minor collapse. Pat Cummins had the last laugh in a sledging battle with Jadeja when he sent his stumps flying. Saha (31) fell soon after, this time edging one off the top of his bat to a flying Smith. Cummins finished with three wickets and Lyon with five as India’s tailenders added just 9 runs to the cause.
Australia had to chase down a 32-run lead before going about setting a target. The match was in the balance and one thing was for sure, Australia could dictate whatever the result would be.
India 4-4 Australia
Two manic sessions. Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a magical spell to leave the Aussies reeling. The pacers removed Renshaw, Warner and Smith for a total of just 31 runs. Rahane, satisfied with his pacers, called on the world’s two best Test bowlers – Jadeja and Ashwin.
The spinners did the rest of the damage, taking six wickets between them. Umesh squeezed in another wicket at the death, sending back Lyon. The Aussies had set India a target of just 106 runs. It was there for the taking.
India 5-4 Australia
Rahul and Vijay made sure India didn’t lose any wickets as day three came to an end. When day four began, the scoreline read 19-0. Vijay was caught behind while Rahul ploughed on at the other end, before a comical run-out meant Pujara was gone for 0.
In came Rahane, smashed four fours and two sixes and left it to Rahul to finish in a flurry by scoring the winning runs and yet another half-century to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Feature image source: BCCI