Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/3/24/india-complete-clean-sweep

India complete clean sweep

UPDATED 04 April, 2013 6:52PM AEST | by Omnisport

India completed a 4-0 series whitewash of Australia with a six-wicket Test win in Delhi on Sunday.

A total of 16 wickets fell on another dramatic day of cricket, but stand-in opener Cheteshwar Pujara struck 82 not out as India successfully chased down 155 to win.

The hosts had initially resumed day three batting but after beginning at 8-266, were quickly dismissed for 272.

Australia lost wickets at regular intervals in response and despite a gritty 50 from Peter Siddle, were bowled out for 164 in just 46.3 overs.

That left India with a tricky but gettable run-chase and Pujara again played a key role for his team as they claimed victory in an entertaining Test match.

Deputy Australia captain Shane Watson decided to open the bowling with spinners Nathan Lyon (2-71 off 15.2 overs) and Glenn Maxwell (2-54 off 11) in a bid to claim early wicket in India's chase.

Lyon, fresh off first-innings figures of 7-94, was hit for 10 in the first over as Murali Vijay (11) opened with two fours.

Maxwell removed Vijay in the fourth over as the batsman missed an attempted reverse sweep and was clean bowled.

That gave the Australians belief but they ran into an in-form Pujara and a determined Kohli.

Both played beautifully for India, ticking the score over regularly, and Watson's side did not bowl at their best, making life even harder.

The tricky pitch was not offering as much all of a sudden and the introduction of quicks Mitchell Johnson (0-16 off two) and James Pattinson (0-7 off three) did nothing to stem the tide of runs.

As India passed 100 and Pujara reached his 50, all hope looked lost for the tourists, before Lyon trapped Kohli lbw when the batsman played across the line.

Sachin Tendulkar (one) came and went quickly, also adjudged lbw off the bowling of Lyon, and Ajinkya Rahane (one) skied a slog and was caught by Lyon in the deep off Maxwell.

India had lost three wickets for five runs at that stage and slumped to 4-128, but they always had enough wickets in hand to be comfortable.

Pujara and India captain MS Dhoni (12 not out) added the remaining runs, guiding their side to a morale-boosting series win.

Earlier, Lyon finished with seven first-innings wickets after dismissing Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha (both zero) as India held a 10-run lead from the first innings.

Maxwell was promoted to the top of Australia's order in a bold experiment to start their second innings, but both he and partner David Warner were both dismissed for eight by the spin of Ravindra Jadeja (5-58 off 16).

Phil Hughes (six) looked unlucky to be adjudged lbw off Ravichandran Ashwin (2-55 off 15.3) while Watson (five) played on after inside-edging an ugly slog.

Ed Cowan (24) hit five fours but was Jadeja's third victim and at 5-53, Australia were in dire straits.

Steve Smith (18) and Matthew Wade (19) briefly halted the flow of wickets before Siddle's cameo.

The Victorian hit seven fours before being stumped chasing a wide one off Ashwin, and Australia simply did not set India enough runs.

It is just the second time Australia have ever lost a Test series 4-0.

Ashwin was named player of the series after snaring 29 wickets in the four Tests, while Jadeja was awarded the player of the match.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 24 March, 2013 10:20PM AEST

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