India defeated Australia by eight wickets in the final Test in Dharamsala to claim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Lokesh Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane steered India to an eight-wicket win in the fourth and final test against Australia as the hosts secured a 2-1 series victory at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium on Tuesday.
Rahul made 51 not out and Rahane added 38 to help India chase down the modest 106-run victory target.
In the absence of injured Virat Kohli, Rahane played with uncharacteristic aggression, hitting Cummins for back-to-back sixes at a stadium marking its debut as a test arena.
“We want to be scoring big runs and taking big wickets but at the end of the match, we want to stand behind that board that says ‘champions’,” Rahul said, calling it the best series he had ever played in. “The way Jinks (Rahane) came out and started hitting Cummins for sixes was excellent. He came out with a clear mind and said ‘let’s not play this out, let’s attack’ and I said ‘okay’.”
The victory sealed India’s seventh series win in a row, dating back to their triumph in Sri Lanka in August 2015
“Magnificent series,” Australia captain Steven Smith said. “One of the best I have been a part of. Credit to India, they are a fantastic cricket side, particularly in their backyard.”
The win also brought a successful end of India’s 13-test home season, in which they won 10, drew two and had the lone loss to Australia in the opener in Pune.
“To come back from 1-0 down against the Aussies, when you could see there were tired bodies out there was just brilliant,” India coach Anil Kumble said. “It was a tough game and after losing Virat through injury, it was really important that the team stood up. Rahane led the team brilliantly,” the former captain added.