|Scorecard:||India v Australia|
|Player:||V Sehwag, RS Dravid, SR Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, SC Ganguly, MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, A Mishra, I Sharma, ML Hayden, SM Katich, RT Ponting, MEK Hussey, MJ Clarke, SR Watson, BJ Haddin, JJ Krejza, MG Johnson, A Kumble|
|Event:||Australia in India 2008/09|
DateLine: 10th November 2008
India beat Australia by 172 runs to win the series 2-0 and regain the Border Gavaskar trophy. On the final day's play Australia chasing 382 to win were bowled out for 209 just before tea. The fact that they played only 50 overs showed that it was a tame surrender. India were always in control and the way they dominated the series they were surely the deserving winners. India have now won the Border Gavaskar trophy 4 times to Australia's three.
Australia lose early wickets
With Indian captain M. S. Dhoni asking Saurav Ganguly to lead India out on to the ground for the final day of his career, it was an extremely emotional moment for everybody. But India started well getting the early wicket of Katich going for a wild swing Dhoni holding on to a skier of Ishant Sharma. But the turning point came when the Australian captain in going for a quick single committed harakiri. Amit Mishra pounced on the ball and a direct hit caught Ponting short of the crease. Australia were reeling at 37 for 2. It was surprising to see Michael Clarke come in place of Michael Hussey and that too with a runner in Katich. Since he was not well he was out of sorts. He survived a close leg before shout of Ishant Sharma, but was finally caught behind of his bowling. Australia went into lunch 111 for 3.
Australia collapse after lunch
All this while Mathew Hayden was watching from the other end and he had found an able partner in Hussey at the other end. They both started to attack the Indian spinners. Harbhajan and Sehwag operating from both ends after Ishant's brilliant spell in the morning, struggled. The Australian pair was severe on both of tthem and added quick 50 runs post lunch. But things started to change once Amit Mishra was introduced into the attack. Mishra bowling from around the wicket made one ball kick and jump and Hussey was caught off his glove by Dravid at slip. Hayden who was dropped by Dravid earlier off Harbhajan went on to his half century, before Harbhajan trapped in front and the Indians started to celebrate as Hayden was looking extremely dangerous.
From here it was just a matter of time. Australia kept losing wickets regularly as Mishra and Harbhajan wrecked havoc. Ball was turning and bouncing and the Aussies who were going for the target just threw it away. Watson and Haddin went in quick succession,Haddin pouched by Tendulkar to give him his 100th catch in his 154th match and the tail didn't wag. Only Cameron White made a meaningful contribution. Harbhajan and Mishra picked 7 wickets between them. Australia were bowled out for 209 just at the stroke of tea. India won the final test match by 172 runs and sealed the series 2-0. Australia lost a series for the first time since the ashes. They didn't win a test match in a series for the first time in 7 years.
A great farewell to Jumbo and Dada
Saurav was handed the reigns of captaincy for a brief while when the last pair was out in the middle and it was a great gesture from Dhoni. Once the wicket of Johnson fell Indians started to celebrate. The emotions were running high as players were running towards the stumps to collect it as a sovereigner. It was a great moment for Dada himself whose extremely emotional. Laxman and Harbhajan lifting him and Anil Kumble waiting for the team were all joyous scenes to be witnessed.
Dhoni captaining India for the third time and winning all three was at his best in the post match presentation ceremony. Giving credit were it is due he spoke the right words at the right time . He praised the fast bowling department of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma who got valuable wickets at the top of the order and had outbowled their Aussie counterparts. This was basically the difference between the two teams.
Ishant was declared the man of the series for taking 15 wickets in this series,the fact that most of them were top order batsmen made a huge difference in the end result Krejza was declared the man of the match for taking 12 wickets in the match. Dhoni felt that Anil Kumble and Saurav Ganguly were irreplaceable and new players need to give their best. He then called Anil Kumble to the podium where the two legends whom the trophy is named after gave it to both of them. The whole team sat on the Corolla Altis that was presented to Ishant and circled around the ground. It was a sight to behold.
Anil Kumble would be the happiest person today after lifting the Border Gavasker trophy as since the Sydney fiasco no one would have wanted it more badly than him. The fact that it coincided with Saurav's last test match, Laxman's hundredth test match, Sachin's 40th hundred, Harbhajan's 300th wicket and Dhoni's first test series win as captain makes this Nagpur test match one of the most memorable test matches India has ever played in the recent past.
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