India clinched the series against Australia 2-1 after the fourth and final Test ended in a draw Monday, with the players shaking hands after the tourists reached 175-2 on day five in Ahmedabad.
Before this match, the situation demanded that a win would secure India a place in the World Test Championship final in June. However, around Lunch, with New Zealand winning the first Test against Sri Lanka by two wickets, India already booked their spot at the Oval.
Australia, who also qualified for the final, then completed a dramatic turnaround in this series to win the Indore Test and then draw the final Test after being thoroughly outclassed in Nagpur and Delhi.
Here’s a session-wise summary of the day:
Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne stood firm to reduce Australia’s second innings deficit to 18 as India raced against time for an unlikely win on day five of the fourth Test on Monday.
Australia reached 73-1 at lunch at Ahmedabad, with Head on 45 and Labuschagne on 22.
Australia lost nightwatchman Matthew Kuhnemann for six off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Indian spinners got some turn on the final-day track and beat the bat of the batsmen on a few occasions but Head and Labuschagne stayed calm with occasional boundaries.
Head took on the opposition spinners with five fours and the team’s only six in the match so far as he smashed Ashwin back over his head.
Regular opener Usman Khawaja was yet to bat with “a lower leg soreness” after getting hurt while fielding on day four.
India, who lead 2-1 and need a win or draw to clinch the four-match series, rode on Virat Kohli’s epic 186 to post 571 all out on day four and build a lead of 91 against Australia’s 480 in the first innings.
Kohli was the last man out after Shreyas Iyer did not bat due to lower back pain and the team said Monday that he will take no further part in this Test.
The pitch in the run-filled match has been vastly different from the turning tracks in the opening three Tests, which all ended inside three days.
Travis Head departed for 90 but his century stand with Marnus Labuschagne powered Australia to a second-innings lead.
Axar Patel broke the 139-run partnership after he bowled Head to deny the opener a century in the second session. Australia reached 158-2 at tea, a lead of 67, with Labuschagne (56) and skipper Steve Smith (0) batting at the break.
The action post-tea was minimal. With the Australian batter ending all hopes for a result, India decided to let their regular bowlers rest as Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara also came on to bowl.
The two teams called a truce and shook hands with more than an hour left before stumps. Australia completed a great fightback in the series after the drubbing in Nagpur and Delhi to win the Test in Indore and manage a draw in Ahmedabad. India, meanwhile, clinched the series 2-1.
With inputs from AFP