ADELAIDE: A resurgent Australia wrapped up an emphatic 4-0 series humiliation of India on Saturday after sealing a 298-run win in the fourth and final Test at the Adelaide Oval.
The end of another one-sided contest was swift with the Australians snapping up the final four wickets in an hour to skittle India for 201 and inflict an eighth away Test defeat on the trot for the demoralised tourists.
Despite the series drubbing, which comes after they were similarly hammered 4-0 in England last year, India, once rated the best in the world, cling on to third place on the ICC Test rankings by a decimal point over the hosts.
"I said at the start of the series our goal was to win every Test match we played," said skipper Michael Clarke, whose promotion to the top job at the expense of Ricky Ponting has resulted in a significant improvement.
"A lot of hard work has gone in to get this result. It looks convincing, the end result winning 4-0, but I can guarantee there were certainly a lot of tough times throughout this Test series," said man-of-the-series Clarke.
"We've played some really good cricket, we've played some very consistent cricket, and that's very satisfying."
Australia's dominance over a hugely disappointing India comes just a year after the Ashes series humiliation at home to England.
There would be no repeat of that fiasco, however, as the hosts won by 122 runs in Melbourne in the first Test, an innings and 68 runs in Sydney and an innings and 37 runs in Perth, before the Adelaide annihilation.
Australia's bowlers, led by pacemen Ben Hilfenhaus (27 wickets) and Peter Siddle (23), put a huge hole in the reputations of India's decorated batting lineup.
In the end it was the eight-Test youngster Virat Kohli who topped the beleaguered tourists' batting averages with 37.50. He scored the only century of the series for his team as the feted top order failed miserably.
"It's difficult to explain what went wrong," stand-in India captain Virender Sehwag said. "We didn't bat well, we didn't give a good start as openers, hopefully we will do well in coming series.
"The best way out is to forget what happened and concentrate on what we will do in coming matches and coming series and practise hard and plan well and execute our plans in the game."
The Indians have not won a series in Australia in 10 visits now and the side is likely to come in for more fierce criticism back home.
Sachin Tendulkar, who failed to bring up his 100th international century, has now gone without a century for 25 Test and one-day innings. His last hundred (111) was in the World Cup last March.
Tendulkar finished the series with 287 runs at 35.87, but it was sorry reading for the other batting luminaries.
Test cricket's second all-time highest runscorer Rahul Dravid finished with 194 runs at 24.25, Sehwag 198 at 24.75 and VVS Laxman just 155 at 19.37.
India were set an improbable 500-run target for victory in Adelaide off 146 overs after Clarke's second declaration of the match at 167 for five in their second innings shortly after Friday's lunch.
The highest winning chase at the Adelaide Oval is Australia's 315 against England in 1902, while India's highest-ever run hunt was 406 against the West Indies in Trinidad in 1976, underlining the scale of the task.
The tourists never got close and crashed to 166 for six by stumps leaving the final day's outcome a formality under sunny skies.
Nightwatchman Ishant Sharma was out on the eighth ball of the last day, caught behind off Ryan Harris for two and he was followed in the next over by Wriddhiman Saha, caught behind off Siddle, for three.
Zaheer Khan hit out lustily for three fours before he was caught by David Warner at short cover off Hilfenhaus for 15.
The denouement came when Umesh Yadav (1) was caught behind by Haddin for spinner Nathan Lyon's fourth wicket of the innings. Ravi Ashwin remained 15 not out.
Siddle was announced man-of-the-match with his six match wickets and Clarke was named man-of-the-series after his unbeaten 329 in Sydney and 210 in the first innings in Adelaide.
Australia and India now do battle in two Twenty20 internationals, before Sri Lanka join in for a one-day tri-series from February 5.
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