Perth, Jan 15 (IANS) India stretched their away Test losing streak to seven as they lost the third cricket Test against Australia by an innings and 37 runs shortly after the first session on the third day at the WACA Ground here Sunday.
For India, it was their third successive Test loss in Australia and with still a match to go, the hosts regained the Border Gavaskar Trophy for the first time since 2008.
Going into the third day, Australia were on the brink of a win as India were struggling at 88 for four in the second innings. India needed another 120 runs to make Australia bat again, but they fell short mustering only 83 in little over a session before being bundled out for 171 runs in the second innings minutes after the lunch break. India had made 161 runs in the first innings.
Virat Kohli struck an impressive 75, his highest Test score, while Rahul Dravid made 47 and offered the last resistance with their 84-run stand for the fifth wicket before a three-wicket in a over post lunch by Ben Hilfenhaus wrapped up the day for Australia. Hilfenhaus picked up four for 54 in the second innings to finish with a match haul of eight for eight for 97.
But the star of the Test was David Warner, whose whirlwind 180, built the foundation of the massive win as Australia made 369 in the first innings despite losing 10 wickets for 155 runs. Warner was also adjudged as the Man of the Match for his century, which was the fourth fastest in Tests.
India needed a similar knock from one of its batsmen to save the Test. The hopes were on Dravid and Kohli. But once Dravid and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2) departed in a space of 20 balls the slide continued and it was just a matter of time for Australia.
Ryan Harris (1/34) set Dravid nicely to give Australia the first breakthrough of the day. Having beaten Dravid’s bat several times with away going deliveries, Harris got one back in sharply off the seam to rattle his stumps. Alarmingly, Dravid was bowled for the eighth time in his last ten innings.
Dhoni’s poor run with the bat continued as he pushed hard at an away going delivery from Peter Siddle (3/43) only to guide a simple catch to Ricky Ponting at the second slip as India slipped to 165 for six at lunch.
Hilfenhaus then removed R. Vinay Kumar (6), Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma all in one over while Kohli was the last man out caught behind off Peter Siddle (3/43) as India surrendered without a fight.
Kohli’s gritty knock was the lone bright spot for India, who stare at another whitewash overseas going into the fourth Test at Adelaide.
The 23-year-old showed maturity while playing the Aussie pacers and displayed class with some exquisite straight and cover drives.