3rd Test: India record historic triumph

Hosts gain 3-0 lead to record biggest Test series margin over Australia.

News Desk March 18, 2013
With a six-wicket win in the third Test, India reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar trophy, which they relinquished after a 4-0 thrashing in Australia last year. PHOTO: BCCI

India recorded a thrilling six-wicket win over Australia to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-match series and regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, according to ESPNcricinfo.

This was the first time in India’s 81-year-old Test history that they have registered more than two victories against Australia in a single series.

The tourists were bowled out for 223 in their second-innings to set a target of 133 before India chased down in the final hour of the day to register a thrilling victory.

Earlier, Mitchell Starc and Xavier Doherty frustrated India with a defiant 65-minute last-wicket stand, consuming 18.1 overs for 44 runs and ensuring that their opponents do not run away with the game.

India never looked in trouble in their chase until the final hour of the day whey they lost four wickets in quick succession, still requiring 45 runs from a minimum of 15 overs. Murali Vijay (26), Cheteshwar Pujara (28), Virat Kohli (34) and Sachin Tendulkar (21) were all sent packing before captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (18*) and Ravindra Jadeja (8*) steadied the ship and saw India home.

Dhoni ecstatic

The India captain was a pleased man as the team neared recording a whitewash over Australia. “We exploited the conditions well,” he said. “Even the fast-bowlers did a great job helping the spinners. Jadeja’s inclusion in the team helped. It meant we were playing with five specialist bowlers.

“The opening partnership in the first-innings was one of the best batting exhibitions when it comes to batting in pairs, [Murali] Vijay and [Shikhar] Dhawan. The pitch got better to bat on. There were foot marks, but I don’t think it was alarming enough.

“Bhuvneshwar’s [Kumar] wickets in the second-innings helped us win the game. We may try a few things in Delhi but it is important to win all Tests. We will go for it.”

Man-of-the-match Dhawan, who scored the quickest hundred by a Test debutant in his first-innings knock of 187 off just 174 balls, said it was dream innings for him.

“It’s s dream come true,” said Dhawan. “When I entered, I was nervous for the first three or four balls. Once I got into my rhythm, I played my natural game.

“Vijay did a great job too. I wanted to stay at the crease for as long as possible, I didn’t want to throw my wicket away. I will cherish this for the rest of my life.”

Meanwhile, Australia captain Michael Clarke admitted his side needed to perform well away from home.

“We are disappointed, but hopefully we can finish on a high in Delhi,” said Clarke. “Over the past two years, we have been consistent at home, but not away. We continue to learn, there are some positives but there are certainly areas we can get better. I told the boys this morning that we can win the match. We will look to finish on a high in Delhi.”

The fourth and final Test will begin on March 22 in New Delhi.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2013.


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