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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Australia run out of time, but win series

Australia 530 (Smith 192) and 9 for 318 dec (Marsh 99, Rogers 69) drew with India 465 (Kohli 169, Rahane 147, Harris 4-70) and 6 for 174 (Kohli 54)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Australia did not need to win, and India never really thought seriously about doing so. A curiously muted final day of the Boxing Day Test petered out with four overs still to bowl; on recent evidence more than enough time to winkle out the visitors' last four wickets.

A draw was enough for Australia to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy under the stand-in captaincy of Steven Smith, and also enough for MS Dhoni's India to avoid a series whitewash. So hands were shaken, backs slapped and stumps drawn. Despite the odd moment of rancour - Virat Kohli versus Brad Haddin - or transcendence - Mitchell Johnson's ripping cutter to bowl Cheteshwar Pujara - this always seemed the most likely result.

It was a revealing day for Smith, showing that in his second Test as leader he was unprepared to risk a 2-0 series lead over opponents who had chased boldly and capably until tripping up within sight of the finishing post in Adelaide. In this, Smith showed a level of pragmatism more in common with another former captain who bowled leg spin in Richie Benaud, as opposed to the greater gambling instinct of Michael Clarke and his mentor Shane Warne.

Right from the start of the day, Smith had appeared intent on making sure India would not be presented with too amenable a target on what always remained a friendly batting surface. India's captain MS Dhoni seemed to be hoping just as much for a closure early in the morning session, affording his batsmen the chance to pursue a target in the region of 350.

But the hosts pushed on, Shaun Marsh advancing to the cusp of a third Test century when he chanced a quick single to mid-off and was thrown out by Virat Kohli's direct hit. When the innings was closed with Australia's last pair of Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood at the crease, it was the coach Darren Lehmann, not Smith, who waved them in.

Still, 70 overs was a not completely insubstantial amount of time. Ryan Harris struck with his second ball, finding late swing to pin Shikhar Dhawan in front of the stumps.

KL Rahul was unexpectedly promoted to No. 3, but completed an unhappy match when he hooked convulsively at Mitchell Johnson and was held by Shane Watson, jogging back from first slip. M Vijay fell to the first-change Josh Hazlewood soon after, struck in line though the ball appeared likely to be sliding past leg stump.

Kohli had made only four when he was almost run out - David Warner's excellent diving save devalued somewhat by a throw not accurate enough to strand Kohli as Haddin ran in to collect. The first verbal confrontation between Kohli and Haddin caused India's No. 4 to complain to the umpires, while Haddin goaded him with a series of exaggerated handclaps.

Not quite as fluent as they had been in the first innings, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were helped by the ball losing some of its earlier hardness. Each had close calls, Harris raising an lbw query against Kohli and a fiercely struck Rahane cut shot bursting through the fingers of Chris Rogers at backward point.

India managed to reach tea without further loss, but that achievement was made moot when Kohli flicked a little too hastily at Harris' first ball of the evening session and arrowed it straight to Joe Burns at square leg. Pujara had been dropped down the order as something of a safety blanket, and his 95-ball union with Rahane was enough to dim Australian hopes.

Johnson had to conjure the ball of the Test to find a way past Pujara, his fast offbreak the stuff of Derek Underwood's wildest dreams, but there was not the same purchase for Lyon, and the other pacemen lost penetration as the day wore on. Rahane's mistimed pull shot to square leg left a narrow window open, but R Ashwin and Dhoni looked secure enough to leave Smith thinking he had run out of time four overs before he actually did so.

An enjoyable and well-attended match had thus faded away. The series is Australia's, not in the sort of circumstances that prompt wild celebrations, but more the sober handshakes in recognition of a job completed.

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Home field advantage

13

This draw ends 13 consecutive Tests between Australia and India all won by the home side, going back to a draw in Delhi, October 2008

Rare Draw Coming Up?

17

Number of years since a Test has been drawn at the MCG. The last drawn Test was between SA and Aus in 1997

Just Missing Out

499

Runs scored by Virat Kohli in this series. No overseas No. 4 batsmen has scored 500 runs in a series in Australia.

Run batsmen run

57

Number of 3s run by batsmen in this Test (at tea). Since 2001, the record for the most 3s in a Test is 58 (Aus v Ind, Adelaide, 2003)

A Boatload

848

Runs scored by Australia in this Test, the third-most by either team in Tests between India and Australia

Don't Run on 99 at the MCG!

3

Shaun Marsh's is the 3rd instance of an Australia batsman getting run out on 99 - all three of them have come at the MCG.

Indian Record

9

Number of dismissals collected by MS Dhoni in this Test - India's record for the most dismissals in a Test by a wicketkeeper.

Declare already?

234

Most runs scored on day 5 by a team batting fourth at the MCG in the last 40 years.

Maiden at home

0

Number of fifties Shaun Marsh had got in nine Test innings in Australia before today.

Ishant joins a club

8

Number of Indian bowlers who have taken 300+ international wickets; Ishant Sharma became the eighth

Bunny

7

Number of times Watson has been dismissed by Ishant Sharma in Tests, averaging 19.85 runs per dismissal.

Struggle

8.66

Shane Watson's batting average against R Ashwin in six Test innings; has been dismissed thrice in 55 balls.

Better later

41.70

Chris Rogers' batting average in the second innings as opposed to his average of 30.50 in the first.

Second-innings specialists

4

Second-innings century stands by Rogers and Warner - no other pair has put on more such partnerships in Tests since 2000.