Australia have stormed to a momentous 4-0 series whitewash over India after belting the tourists by 298 runs in the fourth and final Test at Adelaide Oval.
The Aussies made short work of the dishevelled tourists, knocking them over for 201 inside the first hour of day five, after India had resumed at a forlorn 6-166 overnight, confronted with the impossible task of reeling in a world-record 500-run target.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon (4-63) - who snared the key wickets of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman on day four - wrapped up proceedings inside an hour when he had India's No. 11 Umesh Yadav caught behind to instigate measured mid-pitch celebrations for Michael Clarke's resurgent outfit.
India have now toured Australia 10 times and are yet to win a series here, with this campaign arguably the most miserable of the lot. This was Australia's first 4-0 series sweep over India since 1967/68.
Sir Donald Bradman's 1947/48 side won the first-ever rubber between the two teams 4-0, albeit in a five-Test series, likewise Allan Border's 1991/92 outfit, while Steve Waugh's Australians swept to a 3-0 triumph in 1999/2000.
In just the third over of the morning and with India having not added to their overnight score, Ryan Harris (3-41) got rid of nightwatchman Ishant Sharma (two) who poked an edge to Brad Haddin behind the stumps.
The very next over, Man of the Match and first-innings hero Peter Siddle sent the other overnight batsman Wriddhiman Saha packing for three, also feathering a catch to Haddin off a good length ball that moved away.
It was Siddle's 23rd wicket of what has been a breakout, career-best series.
Zaheer Khan slogged 15 before his knock ended when he backed away and miscued a lusty swipe to David Warner at cover off Ben Hilfenhaus's second ball of the morning.
The Zaheer scalp was the big Tasmanian's 27th wicket of a golden series, a wonderful comeback for Hilfenhaus, who was dropped after last summer's Ashes series, during which he could muster just seven wickets at almost 60.
Lyon sealed the visitors' fate when Yadav feathered a flighted ball to Haddin for his third catch of the morning, R Ashwin left stranded not out on 15.
It completed a nightmare campaign for the Indians, who arrived on these shores with high hopes of retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy and securing a first-ever series triumph Down Under against a rebuilding and relatively inexperienced Australian side, without much of its first-choice bowling attack available.
It was India's eighth successive overseas Test defeat, coming on the back of their identical 4-0 series defeat in the English summer of 2011.
The time for regeneration has well and truly arrived for India and may have already started following unconfirmed reports that veteran Rahul Dravid is set to announce his retirement from all international cricket.
Australia's colossal first innings 7-604 declared - in which Ricky Ponting and Clarke compiled double tons - set up the massive victory after India's disappointing first innings reply of 272 fell well short of the follow-on mark in perfect batting conditions.
Player of the Series Clarke had a golden series with the bat, amassing 626 runs at 125.20 with a strike rate of 69.86, while Ponting's series reaped 544 runs at 108.80.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 28 January, 2012 12:31PM AEST