Cricket writers condemned the overriding defensive approach aimed at killing off the game and said it was treating vulnerable Test cricket with contempt.
Australia's hopes of levelling the four-Test series suffered a setback when they were bowled out for 355 on Saturday in reply to India's first-innings total of 441 on the third day and needing an extraordinary effort to win the match and square the series.
Australia trail 1-0 after their 320-run defeat in the second Test in Mohali. The matches in Bangalore and New Delhi were drawn.
"Does Test cricket want to survive? Does it even care? Nothing has been more tedious in the current series than the juvenile finger pointing about negative cricket," The Sun-Herald columnist Peter Roebuck wrote Sunday.
"And the problem has been that the accusations have all been justified.
"Both sides have played a boring game, aiming wide of the sticks whenever it suited them, stifling stroke play, killing the game. Add four deliberately dreary pitches and one lacklustre attack and the failure of this series to stir the spirit becomes inevitable.
"A plague on their houses: the declining and once-aggressive champions and the self-serving aspirants."
Roebuck said it was not surprising that the stands in Nagpur have been almost empty.
"If this is the best Test cricket can offer then it deserves everything it has coming. At the very time the five-day game is most vulnerable it has been treated with contempt."
The Sun-Herald said India had clawed back the advantage "by stealth" to take charge of a fluctuating fourth Test.
"The Australians were curtailed by India's negative tactics and failed to seize the initiative on the third day ... having added only 166 runs in almost three excruciating sessions," it said.
"Zaheer (Khan) and (Ishant) Sharma bowled wide of off-stump and (skipper Mahendra) Dhoni set 8-1 fields to deny the Australian batsmen any momentum.
"When (spinner) Harbhajan (Singh) came into the attack, Dhoni placed six men on the leg side, and the first session produced only 42 runs - hardly a spectacle befitting such a series."
The Sunday Telegraph said while India took control of the match, "it wasn't a great advertisement for Test cricket."
"Dhoni regularly employed ultra-cautious fields in a bid to short-circuit Australia's bid for quick runs to keep a match it must win moving," it said.
"At one stage Dhoni had eight men on the off-side and just one on the on-side, strangling Australia's attempt to score at the same rapid rate of Friday.
"Dhoni's captaincy also did little to improve the image of Test cricket at a time when the traditional version of the game is under siege.
"This series has already been tainted by slow over rates, poor crowds and two draws."