Mohali, Mar 18: For the first time in Test history, India have a 3-0 lead over Australia after winning the third Test by six wickets in a tense finish here at the PCA Stadium on Monday. With this India have reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Australia had held the Trophy after having blanked India 4-0 last year at home. This time, India have a chance to return the favour with the fourth and final Test starting in Delhi on March 22.
A chase of 133 proved a tricky one for India. With Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc bowling well, India struggled to get the required runs. In final tense moments, India lost Sachin Tendulkar through a run out. 25 runs were required off the last six overs and the equation came down to 17 off 24 balls.
At this stage, Tendulkar, going for a non-existent single, was run out by David Warner. In walked Ravindra Jadeja and eased the pressure with two boundaries. With nine needed off 18 balls, captain MS Dhoni finished the game off with three successive boundaries. India completed the chase in 33.3 overs.
Prior to Monday, India's best Test wins over Australia were by 2-0 margin on three occasions, 1979-80 (six-Test series), 2008-09 (four Tests) and 2010-11 (two Tests).
This is for the first time that India have managed to win three successive Tests over Australia in a series. India and Australia played their inaugural Test rubber in 1947-48 and since then have been involved in 23 series.
The win in Mohali was set up by debutant Shikhar Dhawan with a hurricane century. With full day's play lost to rain on the opening day, draw was the more likely result entering second day. But Dhawan blitzed his way to 187 to give India the advantage.
Dhawan's efforts were well complemented by fellow opener Murali Vijay's hundred and half ton by Virat Kohli. Then, the spin trio of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha dismissed Australia cheaply in the second innings which paved the way for an Indian win.
Australia 223 all out
India need 133 to win the third Test and go 3-0 up against Australia.
Australia were bowled out for 223 in their second innings. They took a lead of 132. The last wicket pair of Mitchell Starc and Xavier Doherty frustrated Indians for more than an hour. Strac was the last man out to Ravindra Jadeja. The duo added 44 runs in 18.1 overs.
At lunch, Australia 170/8
Jadeja dismissed Australia captain Michael Clarke for the fifth time in the series as India marched towards securing a 3-0 lead in the four-Test series. At lunch on the fifth and final day of the third Test, Australia were staring at another defeat, being reduced to 170/8 with just a lead of 79.
Yet again, it was batting failure for Australia. R Ashwin, Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha shared the five wickets to fall today. From 75/3 this morning, Australia crumbled to spin to hand India the advantage in a Test where the first day's play was lost due to rain.
Nathan Lyon was the first to go, caught by MS Dhoni off Ojha. Clarke, who batted at No. 5 due to bad back, hit three boundaries before falling to Jadeja. He was caught at short leg by Cheteshwar Pujara.
Phil Hughes was unlucky to be given out LBW by Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar. The ball from Ashwin seemed to be missing legstump but Dar upheld Indians' appeal.
Moises Henriques and Peter Siddle too followed and till lunch Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc have delayed India's charge. So far, the duo has added 27 runs in 12 overs.
India are poised to win the four-Test series against Australia here on Monday. With the third Test ending today on the fifth and final day, the visitors are battling to save the match.
Play began on Monday with overnight batsmen Phil Hughes and Nathan Lyon continuing their fight in the second innings. They started from 75/3. They still trail by 16 runs.
India will be looking to take the remaining seven wickets and chase down whatever target they have. There are doubts over the fitness of captain Michael Clarke, who is down with back problem.
Already 2-0 up, India will take the series today even if the match ends in a draw. The fourth and final Test is in Delhi from March 22.