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What a fantastic series it has been. Both sides have had their moments but eventually India would say they probably won the crucial moments and hence deserved the win. Australia should be proud of the way they have played the series, not many gave them a chance but they have done remarkably well and can be proud of the character and fight shown. It was probably only after the two bad sessions yesterday that one could sense that they have possibly lost the plot and it speaks volumes about the competitive nature of this 4-match series.
Virat Kohli is being handed the Test mace as India finished on top in the ICC Test Team rankings with the cut-off date of April 2017. The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy is being handed to Ravichandran Ashwin, he also gets the ICC Test cricketer of the year 2016 award.
Indian skipper, Virat Kohli calls it an unbelievable win. Calls it their best series win at home as he earlier thought that the England series was the most intense one. Credits Australia for giving them a fight all the while but also applauds his teammates for showing character and Ajinkya for leading the team well. (On the injury) Mentions that he wanted to contribute but couldn't do much. Credits the change in fitness regime for the success of the players since it has been a long season. Calls it a special achievement to go from No. 7 to No. 1 across the season and is proud of it being the captain. Opines that it was a team performance as players have worked hard throughout and have taken responsibility to step up. Admits that you don't become the No. 1 team without having a bunch of players raising their game. Credits the fitness and desire of the fast bowlers, right from the South Africa series in 2015. Mentions that he will take time to recover from the shoulder injury and calls it a part and parcel of the game.
Stand-in Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane says he feels very good and thoroughly enjoyed the game. Credits the boys for stepping up at different positions throughout the season and this match. Says that unfortunately Virat got injured and he had to captain in his absence. (When asked about the David Warner-Steven Smith partnership on Day One) Opines that they wanted to stop runs after Lunch and take one wicket as only Warner and Smith were scoring runs and putting them under pressure. (On Kuldeep Yadav) States that they were aware that Kuldeep has the X-factor and was bowling well in the nets so they had the confidence in him. (When Australia had scored 131 in the first session) Admits that they were aware that one wicket could change things. Says that it was good to see from slip and gully how Indian bowlers - Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma bowled this season. (On why he was scoring so quickly when he came out to bat and whether he had a flight to catch) Says that there was nothing like that, he wanted to take the chances and finish the game as soon as possible because it is important to do so in low-scoring games. Ends by saying that this was the best wicket of the series, had good bounce, the ball was turning from Day one but overall it was a very good wicket.
Man of the Match and Man of the Series Ravindra Jadeja jokes that there is no place to keep the trophies. He is happy to be part of the champion team and feels proud of his performance in this season. On the batting, he says that he wanted to spend time in the middle as he knew if he stayed longer, he could answer to the people with his bat. Thanks his captain and coach for giving him confidence all the while. About his bowling, he says that he has developed as a player. Mentions that people didn't consider him a Test player before, so this is the answer to them. Thanks Ashwin for helping him out from the other end. Opines that visiting teams often struggle against good spin bowling so his combination with Ashwin works well. Hopes that they do well away from home too and carry the winning momentum ahead. He jokes about getting to a ton and celebrating with two bats. Calls it a good wicket for fast bowlers since there was swing and seam on offer but not much for the spinners when they lost the toss. Thinks that Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar would have enjoyed bowling here.
Australian skipper Steven Smith calls the series a magnificent one. Says that it was one of the best he has been a part of. Credits India and states that they are a fantastic side. Opines that if anyone gives them a chance they take it. Mentions that it was fantastic to challenge the hosts and it was a good learning curve for his side. Says that he is very proud of the boys. Opines that the middle session on Day 3 where they lost five wickets for 92 cost them the match. Calls it a positive to see the team put up such fight. Says further that everyone predicted they we would lose 4-0 but he's very proud of the way Australia played. Calls Dharamsala an amazing place and calls the wicket a good one, there was bounce and that is what Australia likes. Thanks Ravi Shastri for reminding him of his brilliant performance (in the series with the bat). Adds that he always wanted to perform for his team and is glad that he could do it. Ends by apologizing for losing his cool sometimes during the series.
Time for the presentation ceremony. Player of the match award goes to Umesh Yadav, while player of the series is given to Steven Smith.
India were set a target of 106 and despite the nerves from the other end, Lokesh Rahul's 6th Test fifty in the series ensured that India ended victorious. Australia would believe that they could have done better in all three departments of the game. They needed to bat better in both innings, dropped a few catches which potentially cost them the handy runs towards the end. Cummins was superb with the ball along with Lyon but they might have expected more support from Hazlewood and O'Keefe in terms of the wickets.
The game moved at a rapid pace in the second session yesterday as the Indian bowlers raised their game. Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled with a lot of venom and caused the ball to bounce at awkward height. The Australian top order was blown away in no time and the spinners then came into their own. Despite the 56-run stand between Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell, the hosts ensured they did not let the game drift. Ashwin, Umesh Yadav and Jadeja finished with three wickets apiece.
India responded well with Rahul and Pujara scoring fifties but Australia came back in the game taking quick wickets with Lyon wrecking havoc in the post-Tea session on Day 2. India were 221 for 6 when Ashwin got out and it looked like the hosts would concede a big lead but the 96-run stand between Saha and Jadeja not just brought India to parity but also gave them a handy 32-run lead.
It was a match that saw both teams always in the hunt at all the time. Australia won yet another vital toss but may now rue not making the most of that advantage. Despite a brilliant ton by their skipper Smith, Australia got bundled out for 300. But as has been the case in the series, he did not get enough support from the rest. Kuldeep Yadav kept India in the game taking 4/68 on his Test debut.
Needing 87 runs to win today, Indian openers came out with positive intent. Lokesh Rahul registered yet another fifty, taking the timely risks. India did lose two wickets in an over and it looked like we may have more twists in the tale. But out came the India skipper Ajinkya Rahane and hit a belligerent 27-ball 38 to ensure the hosts won the game and the series 2-1!
What a win for India! The players are on the field to celebrate the win. Handshakes all around. 13 games in the home season but India will know that this was easily the best win for them given the context of the series. Remember, they were 0-1 down after the Pune debacle and how well have they played since then to take the series 2-1. A lot has been said, talked about in the media about both the captains, teams and tactics but at the end, we all have witnessed one great Test series with both teams fighting hard. India right now hold all the major Test trophies, it has not happened often as only South Africa and Australia have done it before mentions Ravi Shastri on air.
Steve O'Keefe to Lokesh Rahul
All over! India win by 8 wickets! Steve O'Keefe tosses this one around off, Rahul clips it through mid-wicket for a couple. For some strange reason, he comes back for the third and completes it. With that he also brings up his 7th Test fifty, 6th of the series! Think they were not aware of how many runs they wanted. It doesn't matter though as the celebrations begin. Rahul is screaming in joy and why not, it has been a challenging series for everyone involved. David Warner hugs Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane and congratulates him. Good to see that a series which had its share of controversies ends on such a note. India regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Steve O'Keefe to Ajinkya Rahane
Rahane clips this tossed up delivery towards backwards square leg for a single.
Shortish again and around middle, nudges it through mid-wicket for one run.
Short and around leg, Rahul looks to pull but misses and the ball raps his thigh pad.
Sprays this around leg, Rahul clips it towards the leg side.
The players in the Indian dressing room are waiting for the winning hit.