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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Series ends with neither a bang nor a whimper as India hold out for draw: T4D5

Australia 7/572d & 6/251d drew with India 475 & 7/252 (89.5ov, Vijay80/165b/2x6 7x4, Kohli 46/95b/3x4, R Sharma 39/102b/2x6 2x4, Rahane 38*/88b/5x4, Kumar 20*, Hazlewood 17-7-31-2, Starc 19-7-36-2, Lyon 30.5-5-110-2); T4/4 D5/5 at SCG.
Australia won series 2-0. 
Player of the match and Player of the series: Steve Smith.

At times an Australian victory looked possible; there were fleeting moments when, at least to their supporters, an Indian one looked feasible (eg 2/160 at tea) but the Test fizzled out into a draw.

In the last session Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood each took two wickets, thereby pricking the bubble of whatever pretensions India might have had. Nathan Lyon also took a second wicket after being hammered earlier, despite extracting considerable turn from the wicket. He troubled the lower order batters without menacing them to the degree he'd done in Adelaide.

Australia were clearly the better side in both this match and throughout the series. They had their weaknesses, eg fielding (though Steve Smith and Shane Watson took great catches today) but they always were able to regroup and at least contain India.

If India's attack had performed consistently and less like a rabble, the series may have been closer and the batters may have felt that their considerable efforts were more worthwhile.

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