India seal series with resounding 4th test win

November 10th, 2008 - 9:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Nagpur, Nov 10 (ANI): India sealed their first test series victory over Australia in seven years on Monday after Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh spun the hosts to a resounding 172-run win in the fourth and final test.
Speaking to media today in the post match news conference in Nagpur, which hosted the last match batsman Saurav Ganguly said that the performance is more than satisfactory.
“We are very happy after winning the series. We played splendidly to win the series 2-0, against the best side of the world its very satisfying. After first test in Bangalore we dominated all the three test matches,” said Ganguly.
He was effusive in praise for skipper M.S. Dhoni who led from the front in both Mohali and Nagpur to gift India with victories.
“He has done wonderfully well so far. He has won Twenty20 world cup, he has won the one-day series in Australia and beating Australia here. You know he has done fantastically well and I know he has got the ability to take the Indian cricket forward. Captaincy is a spark. Its not just preparation, its not that you got to be a good player or you do a lot of homework. Its spark on the field that M.S. (Dhoni) has. He has got that extra bit of luck, which you require in captaincy but he will be tested when India will go overseas. I am sure he will live up to it. If the boys around will play well he will definitely live up to it, because I have always believed a captain is as good as his team,” said Ganguly.
He also said that the historic win was a team effort in which every player chipped in with good performances whenever needed.
“To be honest every game is a new game because when you play against such a strong team you just have to wake up and perform everyday and that’’s exactly what happened in the series. Everybody pitched on whenever it was required. Even Bhajji’’s (Harbhajan Singh) knock on Sunday was so crucial. He had scored a fifty at a crucial stage in the test match. So everybody stood up and as I said we somehow managed to pick up Australia,” added Ganguly.
Australian skipper Ricky Ponting also praised the Indian team and singled out the performance of the Match of the series winner Indian pacer Ishant Sharma and said that there are lessons to learn from the loss.
“Indian seamers have certainly bowled very well. There main bowler Ishant Sharma has been man of the series that probably doesn”t happen too many times in India where a fast bowler wins an award like that so it goes to show how good he has been right through the series. There’’s not much we can do that I mean we”ve got some experiences so as I said there is an opportunity for all those guys to have a really good think about what they have done and how they have approached it make sure that next time they get a chance to play whether it be here or in Australia that they learn from their mistake along the way,” said Ponting.
Man of the match Australian rookie off-spinner Jason Krejza, whose 12 scalps left everyone surprised as he was thrashed during warm up game.
He praised former Indian orthodox spinner Bishen Singh Bedi for latter’’s support after he was hammered in the warm up game.
“Obviously a chat with Bedi got a lot of information that I guess we worked on our bowling definitely I am a better bowler than what I was when first got here,” said Krejza.
Leg-spinner Mishra and off-spinner Harbhajan shared seven wickets to bowl out Australia for 209 in their second innings with almost a session to spare on the last day, wrapping up the four-match series 2-0.
Fast bowler Ishant Sharma provided the early breakthrough with the dismissals of first-innings centurion Simon Katich (16) and Michael Clarke (22) after India had set the tourists an imposing target of 382 for a series-squaring victory.
India last beat Australia at home in 2001 and drew one of three subsequent series. This was Australia’’s first series defeat since the 2005 Ashes tour of England.
Harbhajan took four wickets and Mishra three, as well as running out Ponting, as the tourists dramatically lost their last seven wickets for 59 runs.
Matthew Hayden had given Australia hope by scoring 77 at a healthy rate but he fell LBW to Harbhajan after Mishra had Michael Hussey (19) caught by Rahul Dravid at slip to trigger the collapse.
Hayden had put on 45 for the third wicket with Clarke and 68 for the next with Hussey to force India onto the defensive before Harbhajan struck to regain control of the match.
India stuck to their successful first innings ploy of bowling accurately to a packed offside field in the first hour to frustrate the visitors.
The tactic paid dividends when Katich top-edged Sharma and was caught behind by Dhoni.
Ponting, who edged pacer Zaheer Khan dangerously to slip early, took off late after playing the left-armer to mid-off where Mishra brought off a remarkable pick and throw on the run.
Clarke, playing with a runner, hit a couple of streaky boundaries off Zaheer before Sharma dismissed him caught behind for the second time in the match pushing tentatively at the ball.
Harbhajan had all-rounder Shane Watson caught behind for nine and Brett Lee (0) caught at short-leg after Mishra had Krejza stumped for four.
Australia spinner Krejza, who took 12 wickets in his debut test, was named man of the match and Sharma the man of the series. (ANI)

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