Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne rue Delhi finish after day five draw in Ahmedabad


Australia has been left to rue an “hour of madness” that cost it the second Test after falling to a fourth consecutive series defeat against India.

The tourists batted themselves to safety on day five in Ahmedabad before both captains agreed to call the Test early on a placid pitch which yielded just two wickets on the final day.

The draw gave India a 2-1 series win over Australia for the fourth straight occasion, dating back to Australia’s last tour of the country in 2017.

AS IT HAPPENED: India v Australia fourth Test day five

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Following the match, Australian captain Steve Smith expressed regret over his team’s collapse in the second Test in Delhi from a strong position which ultimately gave India an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

“I think we started to play a lot better as the series went on,” he said.

“I’d say that hour of madness in Delhi really cost us in that game. Coming back from that in the next game in Indore we fought back really nicely and in this game, as well.

“I felt we put it all together but unfortunately the wicket was probably a little bit too flat for a result in the end. But it was good cricket all the same.”

Smith’s sentiment was echoed by Australian No.3 Marnus Labuschagne, who registered his highest score of the series with an unbeaten 63 on the final day.

“We had that Delhi game,” he said.

“We were the better team for two days and cooked it up in an hour, in a bit of panic.

“That’s the one that really hurts.”

Labuschagne was not the only positive to come out of the final day for Australia, with opener Travis Head scoring a fluent 90 before being clean bowled by Axar Patel in the middle session.

Indian star Virat Kohli was named the player of the match for his 186, while spin duo Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin shared the player of the series award.

The two teams will not have to wait long for their next red-ball meeting, with both qualifying for the final of the World Test Championship to be played in England in June.

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