A resurgent Australia wrapped up an emphatic 4-0 series humiliation of India yesterday after sealing a 298-run win in the fourth and final Test at the Adelaide Oval.
The end of another one-sided contest was swift with the Australians snapping up the final four wickets in an hour to skittle India for 201 and inflict an eighth away Test defeat on the trot for the demoralized tourists.
Despite the series drubbing, which comes after they were similarly hammered 4-0 in England last year, India, once rated the best in the world, cling on to third place on the ICC Test rankings by a decimal point over the hosts.
“I said at the start of the series our goal was to win every Test match we played,” said Australia skipper Michael Clarke, whose promotion to the top job at the expense of Ricky Ponting has resulted in a significant improvement.
Australia’s dominance over a hugely disappointing India comes just a year after the Ashes series humiliation at home to England.
However, there would be no repeat of that fiasco as the hosts won by 122 runs in Melbourne in the first Test, an innings and 68 runs in Sydney and an innings and 37 runs in Perth, before the Adelaide annihilation.
Australia’s bowlers, led by pacemen Ben Hilfenhaus (27 wickets) and Peter Siddle (23), put a huge hole in the reputations of India’s decorated batting lineup.
In the end it was the eight-Test youngster Virat Kohli who topped the beleaguered tourists’ batting averages with 37.50. He scored the only century of the series for his team as the feted top order failed miserably.
India have not won a series in Australia in 10 visits now and the side is likely to come in for more fierce criticism back home.
Sachin Tendulkar, who failed to bring up his 100th international century, has now gone without a century for 25 Test and one-day innings. His last hundred (111) was in the World Cup in March last year.
Tendulkar finished the series with 287 runs at 35.87, but it was sorry reading for the other batting luminaries.
Test cricket’s second all-time highest runscorer Rahul Dravid finished with 194 runs at 24.25, Sehwag 198 at 24.75 and V.V.S. Laxman just 155 at 19.37.
India were set an improbable 500-run target for victory in Adelaide off 146 overs after Clarke’s second declaration of the match at 167 for five in their second innings shortly after Friday’s lunch.
The highest winning chase at the Adelaide Oval is Australia’s 315 against England in 1902, while India’s highest-ever run hunt was 406 against the West Indies in Trinidad in 1976, underlining the scale of the task.
The tourists never got close and crashed to 166 for six by stumps leaving the final day’s outcome a formality under sunny skies.
Siddle was announced Man of the Match with his six match wickets and Clarke was named Man of the Series after his unbeaten 329 in Sydney and 210 in the first innings in Adelaide.
Australia and India now do battle in two Twenty20s, before Sri Lanka join in for a one-day tri-series beginning next Sunday.