Hosts canter to target to claim fourth Test by eight wickets and secure a 2-1 series win
Australia’s Project India, so diligent in the planning and so close to realising its bold aspiration, will be recorded in history’s ledger as failed after India completed the series win so many expected but which came with unforeseen and prolonged resistance.
A contest that has contained more than its requisite share of fluctuations, flare-ups and acts of individual brilliance came to an almost anti-climactic close 38 minutes before lunch on the fourth day.
When India reached their 106-run target to secure an eight-wicket win in the fourth and final Test, a 2-1 victory in the series and the Border Gavaskar Trophy to display in the BCCI’s inauspicious offices at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium for at least the next two years.
For the Australians, the final result came with a tamarind aftertaste having claimed such a comprehensive early advantage at Pune, set the pace at Bengaluru a week later and battled bravely to stay alive on the final day at Ranchi.
And it was India’s ability to score top-order runs when most needed that ultimately proved the decisive point of difference between two unexpectedly even-matched opponents.