Australia and India played in the final Test match at Ahmedabad to a tie, but India won the series 2-1 and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the fourth time in a row. India has also earned a spot in the World Test Championship championship game against Australia at The Oval.

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Ahmedabad: Indian cricketers pose for photos with the trophy after the end of the fourth test cricket match between India and Australia, at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Monday, March 13, 2023. India clinched the four-Test series 2-1. (PTI Photo/Atul Yadav)(PTI03_13_2023_000186B)

In short

In the fourth and final Test of the 2023 BGT, India and Australia drew.
India won the series 2-1, their fourth straight BGT victory. They had previously won in Nagpur and Delhi, and the third Test had been won by Australia in Indore
.

The last Test of the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy saw Australia lose focus and play to a draw with India in Ahmedabad, while New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka in Christchurch in a nail-biting last-ball victory. After India defeated New Zealand by two wickets to advance to their second straight World Test Championship final, it seemed as though the two teams, who had been playing high-stakes cricket for the previous month, were just going through the motions in Ahmedabad.

India and Australia played four weeks of heated Test cricket, building up to the series finale with the hosts hoping to finish with a 3-1 lead. Yet because to the Australian hitters’ unwavering spirits and the surface, which offered little assistance to bowlers, that did not occur. It was fortunate for India that Kane Williamson delivered one of the best Test innings in recent memory to deprive Sri Lanka a chance. A 3-1 victory for India in the 2023 BGT would have eliminated any other result elsewhere and advanced them to the WTC final.

India vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 5: Highlights

The cricket match between India and Australia had the best pitch of the series in Ahmedabad, which featured some attritional play.

India took a 2-0 lead after victories in Nagpur and Delhi on pitches that received harsh criticism from the Australian media. Why? That was open to speculation. Axar Patel was the series’ top batter in the first half while Rohit Sharma amassed a stylish hundred in the opening Test. India was defeated in their own game despite Indore’s furious turner. The last pitch of the series proved to be a blessing for batsmen after three frantic encounters in which spinners dominated with severe turn and irregular bounce, despite Rohit Sharma’s claim that the hosts were simply playing to their strengths.

Under the shrewd guidance of Steve Smith, Australia mounted a forceful comeback. After the victory in Indore, they amassed an intimidating 480, and during a major portion of the Indian innings, they silenced the opponents. As a result of Smith’s frequent leg-side packing and his bowlers’ precise line responses, the Indian hitters hardly ever had a chance to take the game by storm on a level surface.

Virat Kohli’s genius, Shubman Gill’s guts, Cheteshwar Pujara’s patience and Axar Patel’s ability to hold his own with the bat helped India eventually take a healthy lead but by then, you could sense that there would no winners in the Test. The pitch did not deteriorate as one would expect on the final day of a Test match in Asia and all the Aussies had to do was block and survive in less than challenging conditions.

R Ashwin, who was unquestionably the match’s finest bowler, battled valiantly, but after finishing with 6 for 91 in the first innings, he was only rewarded with the wicket of Matthew Kuhnemann in the second. When Australia won by nine wickets in Indore last week, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne were at the crease together. In Ahmedabad, the pair joined forces with the knowledge that Usman Khawaja, the series’ top run-scorer, was unable to play due to a knee injury sustained on Sunday.

Australia’s choice to bench Travis Head for the opening Test in Nagpur sparked debate and raised several issues. Head was finally reinstated into the playing XI following a lacklustre batting performance in game 1 of the series, but up until Monday, he had not gone over 50 in 5 innings. Head was on track to score a hundred on a benign wicket with the bowlers beginning to tyre when he was dismissed by an Axar Patel delivery that pitched on the rough outside the off-stump. Head had to make the 90-minute walk back in despair.

A few minutes later, Axar Patel could have also dismissed Steve Smith for a duck, but KS Bharat made a significant error right away, allowing Australia to have tea at a comfortable 158 for 2. When the players finally onto the field for the series’ final game, the match dragged on for approximately 40 minutes before the participants shook hands to declare a draw.

After India’s batting collapse in Indore, there were some concerns, but their batters swiftly made up for it in Ahmedabad under more favourable circumstances. In order to make his career-high total against Australia, Virat Kohli dug in and minimised any chances. He had not made a Test hundred since November 2019. Shreyas Iyer was injured, R Ashwin made a terrible shot, and after Umesh Yadav was run out, Indian batting master Virat Kohli didn’t have much faith in Mohammed Shami to take the strike. As a result, Kohli missed out on a double hundred. Yet regardless of the double hundred, that 186 will go down in cricket history as one of Virat Kohli’s greatest Test innings.

India eliminated Australia’s chances of winning even before the third inning. Australia’s courageous batting on the final day destroyed India’s chances of winning. A draw was inevitable, but India’s fourth straight series victory and ongoing control of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy could not be disputed. India has been on a winning streak since Australia’s previous series victory over them in 2014–15: 2017, 2018–19, 2020–21, and 2023. Furthermore, they will now compete against one another on neutral ground in the World Test Championship final in less than 3 months. That ought to be a timeless piece.

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