India deserved all the accolades after they beat Australia by eight wickets in the 4th Test in Dharamsala to clinch series 2-1 and reclaim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. It was India's seventh Test series win in a row since 2015, highlighting their domination in Test cricket. Leading the applause was Sachin Tendulkar, with the likes of Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Parthiv Patel following suit after the famous win at Dharamsala.
Congratulations Bharat on a wonderful season. Only Chuna in Puna. Great effort @anilkumble1074 in ensuring no complacency.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) March 28, 2017
Do what's right, the right way and at the right time and Team India did that beautifully throughout this season. Brilliant work lads @Bcci— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) March 28, 2017
Needing 87 runs on the fourth day to reach a modest victory target of 106, opener Lokesh Rahul (51 not out) dominated from the start with a flurry of boundaries and finished with six half-centuries in the series.
However, it was stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane who put to rest whatever little jitters IIndia had after losing Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara in quicks succession.
He attacked Australian pace spearhead Pat Cummins with such gusto that the match became a no-contest in double-quick time.
There were some hiccups when Vijay (8) and Pujara (0) were out in quick succession but Rahane (38 off 27 balls) came in with the intent of hammering the bowlers into submission.
Rahane and Rahul added 60 runs for a third wicket partnership which took the team to victory in 23.5 overs.
Been a great season, thanks for all your support and love. The journey was a steep learning curve, loads of memories to cherish @ the end. pic.twitter.com/oK1pB9fu8N— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) March 28, 2017
Fittingly, Rahul finished the match with a hard-run two and celebrated wildly. Regular skipper Virat Kohli, who sat out of the contest due to a shoulder injury, and the rest of the Indian team gave Rahul a standing ovation.
In fact, Rahul ran in towards the Australian dressing room before taking off his helmet and letting out a wild war cry -- an indication of how intensely the series had been fought.
But putting aside the hostilities that started with the infamous 'Brain Fade' of rival captain Steve Smith, the two teams shook hands at the end of an aggressively-fought series.
It brought the curtains down on a very productive home season in which India won 10 out of the 13 Test matches with two draws and the only defeat coming on a Pune dust-bowl against Smith's side.
(With inputs from PTI)