India underlined their status as the world’s number one side as they demolished Australia by eight wickets to clinch a bitterly fought series 2-1 on day four of the fourth Test Tuesday.
Chasing 106, opener Lokesh Rahul (51 not out) hit the winning runs in Dharamsala to take back the Border-Gavaskar trophy from Australia, who had triumphed at home in 2014-15.
India’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane (38 not out) hit two sixes in a row off Pat Cummins on the way to the comprehensive victory, as the home crowd waved giant India flags and danced in the stands.
The hosts scored 332 in their first innings in reply to Australia’s 300 before the tourists collapsed for just 137 on the third day.
India lost Murali Vijay to fast bowler Cummins and Cheteshwar Pujara to a run out, but they were the only hiccups the home side faced in the morning session.
The Indians owed their win to all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja who starred with both bat and ball, top-scoring with 63 runs in the first innings before taking three wickets with his left-arm spin during Australia’s short-lived second knock.
Indian pace bowlers Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar also contributed to give their side early breakthroughs.
Australia had themselves to blame for capitulating during their second innings after giving India a close fight throughout the series, marked by several flare-ups between the players.
The victory was India’s 10th out of 13 Tests in a marathon home season that saw them get the better of New Zealand, England and Bangladesh.