DHARAMSALA, India – Lokesh Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane steered India to an eight-wicket win in the fourth and final Test against Australia as the hosts secured a 2-1 series victory at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium on Tuesday.
Rahul made 51 not out and Rahane added a rapid unbeaten 38 to help
Wrapping up the win appeared a formality for
Josh Hazlewood, however, seemed determined to make sure
At the other end, Rahul was showing his fluency against spin, driving and sweeping Steve O’Keefe for a couple of boundaries in the left-armer’s second over of the day.
Pat Cummins then came on to inject some brief excitement to proceedings when two Indian wickets fell in the paceman’s second over of the morning.
First he dismissed Vijay, caught behind for eight with his first delivery, and five balls later Cheteshwar Pujara, normally a good judge of singles, was run out without scoring when he attempted a risky run.
Glenn Maxwell did an excellent job at point, where he collected Pujara’s push and threw down the middle stump at the non-striker’s end, with the batsman well short of crease after a mix-up with Rahul.
Leading the side in the absence of injured skipper Virat Kohli, Rahane played with uncharacteristic aggression, hitting Cummins for back-to-back sixes at a stadium marking its debut as a Test arena.
“We want to be scoring big runs and taking big wickets, but at the end of the match, we want to standing behind that board that says ‘champions’,” Rahul said afterwards, calling it the best series he had ever played in.
“The way Jinks (Rahane) came out and started hitting Cummins for sixes was excellent. He came out with a clear mind and said ‘Let’s not play this out, let’s attack’ and I said ‘Okay’.”
The victory sealed
The win also brought a successful end of
“To come back from 1-0 down against the Aussies, when you could see there were tired bodies out there, was just brilliant,”
“It was a tough game and after losing Virat through injury, it was really important that the team stood up. Rahane led the team brilliantly,” the former captain added.