New Delhi, Mar 24: India completed a historic 4-0 whitewash over Australia by winning the fourth and final Test by six wickets here at Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday.
It is for the first time in Test history that India have defeated a team by a 4-0 margin. India had won in Chennai, Hyderabad and Mohali in the first three Tests of the series. This was Australia's seventh straight Test loss in India.
This was only the second time that Australia had been beaten 0-4 by a team. Last time that happened was against South Africa in 1970.
For MS Dhoni and his men, this was a revenge win after being routed by same 4-0 score by Australia in Australia last year.
The fourth Test here ended in three days with India successfully chasing a tricky target of 155 in 32.1 overs. Dhoni hit the winning runs, a boundary.
There were some anxious moments towards the end when Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed for 1 and Ajinkya Rahane followed with same score. But opener Cheteshwar Pujara batted superbly to take India home in the company of Dhoni. Pujara remained not out on 82.
The win was set up by Ravindra Jadeja's five-wicket haul earlier and Pujara's calm batting.
Pujara, who had injured his hand while batting in the first innings, did not take the field when Australia batted. However, the number three batsman showed no signs of discomfort as he batted fluently to guide India home on a difficult pitch.
At tea, India 72/1
India were on course to complete a 4-0 whitewash of Australia as they reached 72/1 in 12 overs at tea in chase of 155 here on Sunday on the third day of the fourth Test.
A target of 155 was expected to be a tricky one on a turning pitch. But Cheteshwar Pujara neutralised the bowling threat with some delightful batting. Murali Vijay gifted his wicket to Glenn Maxwell while playing a reverse sweep and after that there were no alarms for India.
Indian spinners looked more threatening than Maxwell and Nathan Lyon in the second innings. Pujara's 39-ball 40 has almost sealed victory for India. Virat Kohli is with Pujara, on 16. Barring a dramatic collapse in the final session of play, India should romp home.
Australia 164 all out
Ravindra Jadjea took his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket as India bowled Australia out for 164. India need 155 to win.
Jadeja led India's bowling while it was Peter Siddle who rescued Australia with yet another half century in the game. If not for Siddle's aggressive knock, Australia would have been bundled out for less than 150. Jadeja finished with his career best bowling figures of 5/55. R Ashiwn and Pragyan Ojha had two apiece while Ishant Sharma took one wicket.
Resuming at 89/5 after lunch, Jadeja struck by taking two wickets in two balls. He removed Steve Smith and Mitchell Johnson in successive deliveries. Siddle denied him the hat-trick and then started attacking the Indian bowler.
Siddle became the first No. 9 batsman in Test history to score half centuries in both innings of a Test. In both innings, he was Australia's top scorer. He had made 51 in the first innings and in the second essay, he had 50 off 45 and was the last man out. Siddle struck seven boundaries.
Yet again, it was the lower order that bailed Australia out. Siddle and James Pattinson associated for 35 runs for the ninth wicket.
With batting not easy on the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch, India will have their task cut out as they come out to bat to chase this target. Nathan Lyon, who took seven in the first innings, is the key for Australia if they have to avoid a whitewash.
At lunch, Australia 89/5
Australia were reeling at 89/5 at lunch on the third day of the fourth Test against India here on Sunday. All wickets today fell to spin.
The Test is heading towards a three-day finish with the pitch becoming more and more difficult for batsmen. Australia hold a lead of 79.
Indian spinners were at it again. Weaving their magic, the slow bowlers never allowed Australia to settle. Ravindra Jadeja took three while R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha had one scalp apiece.
From 53/5, Steve Smith and Matthew Wade took the side to some safety till lunch. So far, the duo has added 36 runs in 12.2 overs. There was a chance for Wade with Dhoni failing to hold on to a catch.
Australia, beginning their innings trailing by 10 runs, decided to open the batting with Glenn Maxwell. However, that move did not work. Maxwell bowled by Jadeja and in the next over, he trapped opener David Warner LBW. Ed Cowan, batting at 3, played some shots but was Jadeja's third victim via LBW.
Captain Shane Watson perished while attempting a pull shot and inside-edged on to the stumps. Phil Hughes, for the fifth time this series, fell to Ashwin.
It could be a tricky chase for India if the visitors manage to set a target of above 100.
India 272 all out
Nathan Lyon took his career best bowling figures of 7/94 as India were bowled out for 272 with a 10-run lead.
India lasted just eight minutes on the third day as they resumed from 266/8. Lyon, who had five on Saturday, claimed the last two wickets of Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha.
On a turning pitch, the lead of 10 is insignificant and it will be an exciting day of Test cricket today. Batting last for India won't be easy and it all depends on how many runs Australia score in second innings.