Dominant India seal series
Australia were unable to stave off a third successive defeat as India reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a six-wicket triumph in Mohali.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side, 2-0 up in the four-Test series prior to this game, controlled proceedings but were forced to use up almost all of the final day in sealing victory as the tourists battled hard.
After resuming on 75 for three in their second innings, Australia were once again undone by spin as they struggled to 223 all out, a total that would have been lower were it not for a defiant 44-run stand for the 10th wicket between Mitchell Starc, who hit 99 earlier in the game, and Xavier Doherty.
India took their time in pursuit of 133 and 17 were still required when Sachin Tendulkar was run out with 23 balls remaining.
However, new man Ravindra Jadeja then hammered Peter Siddle down the ground for two fours and the previously becalmed Dhoni finished the job with three successive boundaries at the start of the next over, bowled by Starc.
The result means Australia have lost the first three Tests of a series for the first time in almost 25 years.
They also have concerns over the fitness of skipper Michael Clarke, who was clearly discomforted by his back problem when he came out to bat at six today, but will have Shane Watson available for the fourth Test in Delhi after he returned to India following the birth of his son.
Watson was one of four Australia players suspended for this game due to disciplinary issues. A much-changed outfit can take heart from the fight they showed in taking things down to the wire, albeit after an opening-day washout, but there was a familiar theme as India’s slow bowlers enjoyed further success.
Every home breakthrough today came via spin, with Jadeja leading the way with three scalps.
Phil Hughes, unbeaten on 53 overnight, battled to 69 and there were useful contributions from Brad Haddin and Starc, who faced 100 balls for his 35 and spent more than 18 overs in the company of last man Doherty.
Yet India, shorn of first-innings centurion Shikhar Dhawan due to a finger injury, were relatively untroubled as they progressed steadily to the winning post.
Each member of the rejigged top four passed 20 without going on, while Dhoni finished with 18 to his name.