Ravindra Jadeja was the mastermind of India’s recovery after starring with both bat and ball as the hosts closed in on a series-winning victory against Australia in the fourth Test at Dharamsala on Monday.
India first scored 332, thanks to a fine knock of 63 by the left-hander and his 98-run seventh-wicket stand with Wriddhiman Saha. Jadeja then removed three Australian batsmen to share the bowling spoils with Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin, dismissing the visitors of 137 and leaving India with a victory target of 106 runs.
At stumps, India were 19 for no loss, with KL Rahul (13*) and Murali Vijay (6*) at the crease, needing 87 more runs to win.
Australia’s dismal innings could have been worse, had it not been for knocks of 45 from Glenn Maxwell and unbeaten 25 from Matthew Wade.
Jadeja had figures of 3/24, while Umesh Yadav and Ashwin had identical 3/29 returns.
Earlier, resuming at 248/6, India were very much in a corner with the Australian fast bowlers on fire from the morning.
However, Saha and Jadeja weathered the initial storm and put up a crucial 98-run seventh-wicket stand to ensure that India took a first-innings lead.
The Australians came roaring back shortly before lunch, led by Pat Cummins, dismissing the last four batsmen for just 15 runs as India folded up for 332 after being 317/6 at one stage.
Australia’s response stuttered right from the beginning as Umesh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar generated serious pace and movement.
The home bowlers had the visitors down to 31/3 at one stage, including the vital wicket Australian skipper Steve Smith, who has been a serious thorn in India’s side throughout the series.
Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell steadied the Australians before the Indian spinners got into the act, with Ravichandran Ashwin taking care of both, while Jadeja removed Shaun Marsh and Cummins.
Jadeja then claimed the wicket of Steve O’Keefe and Ashwin claimed Josh Hazlewood after some umpiring gaffes as the visitors were finally sent packing for just 137 runs.