Australia vs India 4th Test Day 5: Australia win series 2-0 after India salvage draw

Australia celebrate after winning the series 2-0

Australia celebrate after winning the series 2-0

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Fans at the Sydney Cricket Ground were treated to a highly tense and thrilling final day of Test cricket as India fought with all their might to end the fourth Test as a draw.

India opener Murali Vijay, captain Virat Kohli and batsman Ajinkya Rahane all contributed in the runs department, which subsequently led to India salvagingĀ the match.

Australia stand-in captain Steven Smith declared on his side’s overnight score of 251/6 to leave India needing 349 to win.

Chasing 349 to win, India got off to a solid start before Lokesh Rahul was caught by David Warner at backward short leg off the bowling of Nathan Lyon for 16.

Rohit Sharma and Vijay made up for the loss of Rahul with a 56-run partnership before Sharma was brilliantly caught by Smith at slip off the bowling of Shane Watson for 39.

Vijay and Kohli kept the runs flowing with a 74-run partnership, during which Vijay brought up his half-century, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood.

Vijay’s excellent knock of 80 came off 165 balls and included seven boundaries and two sixes.

Vijay raises his bat after scoring his half-century

Vijay raises his bat after scoring his half-century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Kohli went on to score 46 runs before he was caught by Watson at slip off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.

Kohli hit three boundaries during his vital knock of 46

Kohli hit three boundaries during his vital knock of 46

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Suresh Raina failed to trouble the scorers as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Starc.

Wriddhiman Saha did not score any runs either as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Lyon.

Ravichandran Ashwin only made one run before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Hazlewood.

However, Rahane and Bhuvneshwar KumarĀ refused to give in to the pressure as they amassed an unbeaten 35-run partnership to help India end the match as a draw.

Rahane finished on 38 off 88 balls, which included five boundaries, while Kumar remained undefeated on 20 off 30 deliveries, which included three boundaries.

Rahane made an unbeaten 38 to help India end the match as a draw

Rahane made an unbeaten 38 to help India end the match as a draw

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Starc, Lyon and Hazlewood picked up two wickets apiece, while Watson claimed one.

Kohli was pleased that the match ended as a draw, and said: “It has been a hard fought series. We wanted to play hard cricket, give a fight, and that is what the boys have done. In Adelaide, and even today we thought we had a chance, but Australia kept coming back. The way they have composed themselves after the (Phillip Hughes) incident and come out is commendable. At tea time, I was not 100% sure if we wanted to go for the target. After Vijay got out, I thought why not take a chance, we are not coming back here for a while. If it does not happen it does not. The intent and character the side is showing is important. These guys have stepped up and shown they have the character and game at the international level, Rahul especially after the kind of debut he had. It is tough in Australia, I have experienced that before.”

Even though Australia could not finish India off, Smith, who named Man of the Match and Series, was delighted to have won 2-0, and said: “Very good series win, that is the most important thing for us. Tough day in the office for us. We did not get the variable bounce we were expecting on a day five pitch. There were a couple of chances that did not come off the glove and things like that. Credit to India for the way they played today. Really enjoyed this series, some pretty flat wickets and I have enjoyed batting. To make four hundreds in a series is very satisfying. I have really enjoyed captaining these guys, they played their hearts out today.”

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