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Page last updated at 09:27 GMT, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 10:27 UK

India storm to victory over Australia to win series 2-0

Second Test, Bangalore, day five:
India 495 & 207-3 beat Australia 478 & 223 by seven wickets
Match scorecard

India batsman Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar hit the winning runs and was named man of the series

By Sam Sheringham

Debutant Cheteshwar Pujara struck a confident 72 as India eased to a seven-wicket win over Australia in Bangalore to complete a 2-0 series victory.

Set 207 to win, India lost Virender Sehwag early on but hit back with a 72 stand between Pujara and Murali Vijay.

Their dismissals gave the visitors hope but veterans Sachin Tendulkar (53) and Rahul Dravid (21) saw the hosts home.

The loss pushes Australia down to fifth in the Test rankings, one place below England going into next month's Ashes.

And if Andrew Strauss's men needed any further indicator of Ricky Ponting side's decline, the two defeats in India followed their defeat by Pakistan at Headingley, making it the first time Australia have lost three Tests in a row since 1988-89.

Back then, they were destroyed on home soil by a West Indies pace quartet of Malcolm Marshall, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and Patrick Patterson.

Our second innings batting wasn't of the standard it needed to be to win the Test match - deep down I felt we needed a few more runs

Ricky Ponting

Some 22 years on, it was a potent combination of Indian youth and experience which proved their undoing.

Sehwag's early dismissal - caught behind by Tim Paine off Ben Hilfenhaus for seven - gave Australia the lift they needed after losing their last three wickets for only 21 runs on the morning of the fifth day.

But far from freezing under the pressure of the situation, Vijay and Pujara swiftly set about making major inroads in the victory target as India reached 73-1 at lunch.

Vijay, who hit a century in India's first innings 495, struck six fours in reaching 37 off 45 balls before he was trapped leg before by Shane Watson.

Pujara, promoted to bat at number three above Dravid, timed the ball to perfection off the front and back foot as he sensed the chance to make a name for himself.

And a maiden Test century looked a realistic possibility before he was undone by the guile of Nathan Hauritz for 72, playing inside the line of a delivery which went straight on to strike off stump.

606: DEBATE

With 61 runs required, Australia were still in the game but an onslaught from Tendulkar - assisted by the cool-headed Dravid - changed all that.

Fresh from his first innings double century, the 'Little Master' was irresistible, smashing Hauritz for successive sixes over midwicket before rocking back and driving the same bowler twice through the covers for four.

Tendulkar reached his fifty to take India within four of victory and, after an agonising run of 12 dot balls, he duly completed the win with a deft sweep for two.

"It was going to be difficult chasing 200 plus on a track where the ball is going up and down," said Tendulkar, who was named man of the match and man of the series for scoring 403 runs at an average of 134.5.

India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara
Pujara batted superbly for a half-century on his Test debut

"Pujara showed tremendous character and his partnership with Murali Vijay was a crucial one."

Earlier, Australia were bowled out for 223 after resuming the final day on 202-7.

Mitchell Johnson offered no stroke to an inswinger from Zaheer Khan and saw his stumps shattered and Sreesanth bowled Ben Hilfenhaus with a yorker.

Zaheer rounded off the innings when last man Peter George gloved a short delivery through to wicketkeeper Mahendra Dhoni.

Australia lost the first Test of the series by one wicket after a thrilling climax in Mohali.

Both matches followed a similar pattern with the two sides scoring more than 400 in their first innings before a poor display from Australia second time round set India targets which they managed to chase down.

"It has been a great series to be a part of as a player," stated Ponting. "But our second innings batting wasn't of the standard it needed to be to win the Test match. Deep down I felt we needed a few more runs.

"Hilfenhaus and Johnson have been exceptional and Shane Watson has been very good at the top of the order. But the rest of us have been a little bit inconsistent."

The sides now meet in three one-day internationals, starting in Kochi on Sunday.



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Australia in India 2010
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