India sealed their first Test series victory over top-ranked Australia in seven years here yesterday after Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh spun the hosts to a resounding 172-run win in the fourth and final Test. Leg-spinner Mishra and off-spinner Harbhajan shared seven wickets to bowl out Australia for 209 in their second innings with almost a session to spare on the last day, wrapping up the four-match series 2-0.
"We had motivation, we had plans, the best part was we executed them very well," India's new captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. Fast bowler Ishant Sharma provided the early breakthrough with the dismissals of first-innings centurion Simon Katich and Michael Clarke after India had set the tourists a target of 382 for a series-squaring victory.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting admitted he was disappointed at the criticism directed at him following his decision not to use his premier bowlers on day four. Ponting turned to occasional bowlers Cameron White and Mike Hussey at the start of yesterday's third session. "I'm a little bit disappointed with some of the criticism, particularly from former Australia captains and Cricket Australia board members," Ponting said.
Ponting has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee because of his team's slow over rate.