HYDERABAD, INDIA: Celebrations were loud and boisterous as the last Australian wicket fell to hand India an imposing innings win as well as a 2-0 series lead on the fourth day of the Hyderabad Test.
The day began with the tourists trailing by 192 runs, but they were only able to add 57 to their overnight score of 74 for two before being dismissed for a humiliating 131 as they chased India’s 503.
Ravichandran Ashwin ended with six wickets in the Test, including Australia’s highest scorer in the second-innings Ed Cowan’s (44) scalp.
It was a day of records; Mahendra Singh Dhoni replaced Sourav Ganguly as India’s most successful Test captain with 22 wins while Australia became the first team to lose by an innings after declaring their first-innings.
Dhoni expressed his pride in the team’s collective contribution for the impressive win.
“It was important to start play really well,” said Dhoni, according to BBC. “Ishant (Sharma) gave us that important breakthrough by claiming Shane Watson’s wicket. I think I have got a very good side.
“We often talk about long partnerships. If you get 40-50, you have to score big. That’s what (Cheteshwar) Pujara and (Murali) Vijay did. That resulted in a massive partnership, which gave us the freedom to accelerate.”
Meanwhile, Australia captain Michael Clarke hardly minced his words as he flayed his team’s below-par performance.
“They (India) outplayed us in every facet of the game,” said Clarke.
“There is no doubt we have a lot of work to do in all departments of the game and there will be no stone left unturned.
“There will be a lot of hard work, I can assure you. You don’t get better sitting on the couch. We have had guys get in and out without making big scores. That’s unacceptable at this level.”
Man-of-the-match Pujara said it was a source of satisfaction for him to play well under pressure.
“There was a bit of pressure on me,” said Pujara. “I just got married, and my wife was worried I should perform. We knew that the new ball would do a bit.
“The plan was to not lose any wickets in that first session of the day. Scoring that many runs in domestic runs has given me the experience to help me keep up the tempo. It was a very important partnership with Vijay, our communication was good and it set the platform.”
The third Test begins on March 14 in Mohali.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2013.
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