India wrapped up a thrilling 2-1 series victory over Australia with an eight-wicket win in the fourth Test in Dharamsala Tuesday.
Left with a chase of 106 following their dismissal of Australia for 137 on Monday, they came into the fourth day requiring another 87 runs to win and they did it for the loss of two wickets, with Lokesh Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane seeing them to a 2-1 series win.
Rahul finished with 51 not out and Rahane added an unbeaten 38 as India ensured there would be no drama when there might have been after Australia took two wickets in the seventh over of the day.
Murali Vijay fell with the score on 46 when he nicked a moving ball from Pat Cummins and then Cheteshwar Pujara needlessly ran himself out for a duck five balls later.
But Rahul and Rahane put their foot down and raced across the winning line with a partnership of 61 off 59 balls, with Rahul going past 50 as he hit the winning runs.
Afterwards India captain Virat Kohli who missed the Test because of a shoulder injury, declared that his friendships with Australia’s cricketers were over.
Despite his struggles with the bat in the series, Kohli has remained in the eye of a raging storm since criticising counterpart Steve Smith, who acknowledged he had a ‘brain fade’ in the second Test.
Smith had gestured to the dressing room seeking guidance on whether to review an umpiring decision in the Bengaluru Test, although Australia dismissed Kohli’s allegation that the tourists had committed several breaches of the rules.
In the final Test, India’s Ravindra Jadeja exchanged words with Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade while Smith, according to the Cricket Australia website, was seen on TV mouthing abuse after Murali Vijay did not catch Josh Hazlewood cleanly but still appealed.
When asked if he still remained on friendly terms with the Australian cricketers, as he had said before the series, Kohli replied: “No, it has changed. I thought that was the case, but it has changed for sure.
“As I said, in the heat of the battle you want to be competitive but I’ve been proven wrong.
“The thing I said before the first Test, that has certainly changed and you won’t hear me say that ever again.”
Smith’s tone was more conciliatory as the Australia skipper apologised for his outburst after his team’s eight-wicket defeat at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.
“I have sort of been very intense in my own little bubble, and at times I have let my emotions and actions just falter a little bit throughout this series and I apologise for that,” Smith said.
“That’s a big stride for me moving forward and something I can really learn from and continue to grow as an individual and as a leader.”
The 27-year-old, however, was upset that the media team of the Indian cricket board (BCCI) posted the video of the Jadeja-Wade spat on social media.
“I was a little bit disappointed that the BCCI sifts through the archive to find a conversation out in the field that was happening between Matty and Jadeja.
“It happened between both sides throughout the series. The fact that they have done that to us is a little bit disappointing. I think usually what’s said on the field stays on the field.”