SYDNEY, Australia: India celebrated
Captain Virat Kohli’s team entered the final day with hopes of a 3-1 series victory and also its first win at the SCG since 1978 but rain meant there was no play on Monday and umpires called it off early. The draw gave India a 2-1 series win.
Six hours of play was also lost on Sunday because of poor weather, but Kuldeep Yadav still had time to take his second five-wicket haul in tests as India rattled through Australia’s lower order with only a late 42-run rally by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood taking the hosts to 300 for just the second time this series.
Marcus Harris top-scored for the hosts with 79, Australia’s highest individual score in the series.
Leading by 322 runs, Kohli had little hesitation in enforcing the follow-on and Australia reached six without loss in its second innings _ with Harris unbeaten on two and Usman Khawaja on four _ when bad light stopped ended play on day four.
The last time Australia was required to follow-on at home was in 1988 against England at the SCG, a match which finished in a draw.
India, which only needed to avoid a defeat here to clinch the series, effectively ended this match as a contest by scoring 622-7 declared over almost two full days after Kohli won the toss and batted. Cheteshwar Pujara (193) scored his third century of the series and Rishabh Pant made 159 not out as the India squad demonstrated it was a class above an Australian team weakened by the absence of the banned Steve Smith and David Warner.
Underscoring the current malaise of Australian cricket without its star batsmen, Australian batsmen have scored only one century _ Khawaja’s 141 against Pakistan in Dubai _ in a year, while India had five centuries in this series alone.
India won the first test at Adelaide by 31 runs and last week’s Boxing Day test in Melbourne by 137 runs to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Australia won the second test in Perth by 146 runs.