|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Tom Moody made a triumphant return as the final Test brought another resounding victory. The substitution of the uncapped opener Wayne Philips (no relation to the former Test opener of the same name) for Marsh was less successful. But another newcomer, the fast-medium Paul Reiffel, was preferred to a spinner on the WACA pitch and he assisted in the demolition of India's second innings by Whitney, who returned match figures of 11 for 95.
Though India took only four wickets on the first day, they restricted Australia to 222 runs. Once again Boon, who completed his third hundred of the series early on the second day, shored up the innings. Prabhakar, who bowled with great heart, accounted for Boon and Moody in 40 minutes on the second morning. But as the ball lost its shine, the last four wickets added 87 and Healy collected his 1,000th Test run, to go with his 100th Test dismissal earlier in the series. Srikkanth's five catches in the innings, four in bat-pad positions, earned him a fourth share in the Test record for fielders.
India's bedrock was a captivating 114 from Tendulkar from 161 balls with 16 fours, the bulk of them square cuts. He came in at 69 for two and was ninth out at 240, after 228 minutes, and a record ninth-wicket stand for India against Australia, of 81, with More. On the third morning, as he ran out of partners, he scored his second 50 from 55 balls. While Hughes and Whitney shared the bowling honours, McDermott's two wickets took him past the series record for an Australian against India, jointly held by Richie Benaud and Alan Davidson with 29. In his second spell of Australia's second innings, Kapil Dev claimed his 400th wicket when Taylor was lbw. With Australia's overall lead just 105, the match was still wide open, until Boon, Jones and Moody - who shared 173 for the fourth wicket - put it out of India's reach. Jones, who had disappointed hitherto, batted discreetly but positively for an unbeaten 150 in 265 balls while Moody, lethal off the front foot, took 101 from 149 balls.
India were left a minimum of 107 overs to chase 442. With McDermott enervated by a stiff neck, Srikkanth and Sidhu started briskly, and on the final morning took their stand to 82, India's highest opening partnership of the series. Yet less than two hours after Reiffel broke it with his maiden Test wicket, Australia were winners. Whitney, brought on 40 minutes before lunch, toppled seven batsmen in 8.5 overs, while conceding 26 runs. Five of his victims were caught in the arc between wicket-keeper and gully, as were both of Reiffel's including the prize wicket of Tendulkar.
Man of the Match: M. R. Whitney.
Man of the Series: C. J. McDermott.
Close of play: First day, Australia 222-4 (D. C. Boon 91*, T. M. Moody 42*); Second day, India 135-5 (S. R. Tendulkar 31*, S. L. V. Raju 1*); Third day, Australia 104-2 (D. C. Boon 35*, D. M. Jones 34*); Fourth day, India 55-0 (Srikkanth 26*, N. S. Sidhu 24*).