India crumbled in the face of Australia’s relentless pressure and suffered a 146-run defeat in the second Test in Perth on Tuesday, surrendering a rare hard-earned ascendancy in a series Down Under.

The hosts levelled the four-match series 1-1 after India were bowled out for 140 runs in 56 overs in their second innings on the fifth and final day.

Starting from overnight 112 for five, India lost their last five wickets for 28 runs and it was all over within 65 minutes of play. This was Australia’s first Test win since the ball-tampering scandal broke out in South Africa earlier this year and Tim Paine’s first as captain.

Having won the opening game by 31 runs to go in front a week ago, India had been talked up as a threat coming into the capital of Western Australia, but they wilted as the pace-spin duo of Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon worked in tandem at the Optus Stadium.

Starc (3-46) and Lyon (3-39) finished with three wickets apiece, while Josh Hazlewood (2-24) and Pat Cummins (2-25) took a brace each. While Starc and his pace colleagues were expected to thrive on the lively track, it was off-spinner Lyon’s exceptional outing that gave Australia the edge. He finished the match with eight wickets, including a five-for in the first innings and a deserving Man-of-the-Match award.

Hanuma Vihari (28) and Rishabh Pant (30) had continued their overnight partnership, and batted out only six overs before the first wicket fell on this day. Overall, they added 21 runs for the sixth wicket. Once Pant followed soon after, it was a matter of time before the lower order surrendered.

Here are some key statistics from Australia’s win in Perth:

  • India haven’t chased well ‘away’ from home this year:
    Cape Town (Target 208) - Loss
    Centurion (Target 287) - Loss
    Edgbaston (Target 194) - Loss
    Southampton (Target 245) - Loss
    The Oval (Target 464) - Loss
    Perth (Target 287) - Loss

  • It was a disastrous test for Indian batsmen at the top and bottom of the batting order.

  • The team selection came under the scanner yet again.

  • In a Test where he achieved plenty of milestones for his brilliant century, there were a few unwanted records for Virat Kohli. He now has scored the most centuries as captain in a losing cause going past... as you could guess... Brian Lara.

  • Ultimately, one of the things that proved crucial was the toss. Kohli’s record of not winning a Test abroad when losing the toss continued.

With PTI inputs