India complete clean sweep
India made light of a potentially tricky run-chase to secure a six-wicket victory in Delhi that condemned Australia to a 4-0 Test whitewash.
The hosts were set 155 to win on a spin-friendly surface after Peter Siddle once again proved the unexpected pick of Australia’s batsmen, the number nine following up a maiden half-century in the first innings with 50 more in a total of 164 all out.
India had earlier been dismissed for 272 in their first dig, with Nathan Lyon completing outstanding Test-best figures of 7-94, but found life much easier second time round as Australia struggled to impose any pressure.
Cheteshwar Pujara, shifted up from his usual number three slot in this game, offered further evidence of his class with a brisk unbeaten 82, while Virat Kohli was similarly confident in contributing 41 to a decisive second-wicket partnership of 104.
Lyon removed Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar to finish with nine wickets in the match - and would have had 10 had wicketkeeper Matthew Wade not dropped Mahendra Singh Dhoni on nought - yet India were still able to complete a first 4-0 win with relative comfort.
After Lyon had removed Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha with successive deliveries this morning, Australia suffered familiar misery against the turning ball, with left-armer Ravindra Jadeja removing the top three en route to 5-58.
Glenn Maxwell, surprisingly promoted to open, was bowled for eight, while David Warner fell lbw for the same score playing injudiciously across the line.
India were given further reason for cheer when Ravichandran Ashwin trapped Phil Hughes in front and Shane Watson then played on to Pragyan Ojha in ungainly fashion before Jadeja won another leg-before verdict against Ed Cowan - the only member of Australia’s top order to reach double figures.
Steven Smith and Wade briefly resisted, but the former then left a straight delivery from Jadeja, who bowled Mitchell Johnson first ball with one that spun back through the gate.
It was left to Siddle to show his colleagues the way once more with a counter-attacking innings that featured seven fours. He was the last man out, stumped off Ashwin immediately after bringing up his fifty.
Murali Vijay was bowled by Maxwell on the reverse-sweep early in India’s chase, but Pujara and Kohli, both typically strong through leg, soon settled any home nerves.
Lyon’s double strike and the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane, who holed out off Maxwell, threatened to make things interesting, but Dhoni accompanied Pujara to the finish line following his early reprieve.