Mohali: India clinched the Test series against a spirited Australia with their biggest-ever margin after recording a nerve-wracking six-wicket victory in the third cricket Test to take a 3-0 lead in the four-match series at Mohali on Monday.

SCORECARD: INDIA VS AUSTRALIA

Never in their 81-year-old Test history, have India won more than two matches against Australia in a single series.
     
After bowling out Australia for 223 in their second innings, India chased down the target of 133 with 15 balls remaining before close of play in a match which saw a nail-biting finish.
     
The hosts encountered some tense moments in their run chase before skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed three fours in a row to seal the match in India's favour much to the delight of the home crowd.
     
Earlier, it was a defiant 65-minute last-wicket stand between Starc and Xavier Doherty, during which they consumed 18.1 overs for 44 runs to ensure the Indians, at least, don't run away with the game before the start of the 15 mandatory overs.
     
When the final hour started, India required 45 runs from a minimum of 15 overs. They completed the chase losing the wickets of Murali Vijay (26), Cheteshwar Pujara (28), Virat Kohli (34) and Sachin Tendulkar (21). Dhoni (18) and Ravindra Jadeja (8) were at the crease when the winning runs were scored.
     
In the process, India reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar trophy, which they relinquished after a 0-4 drubbing in Australia last year.
     
The victory was achieved on the back of some fine batting by debutant Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay, both of them scoring big centuries in India's first innings.
     
Dhawan smashed 187, his 100 coming off a mere 85 balls making him the quickest-ever debutant to reach the three-figure mark.
     
With Australia resuming on 75 for three, the Indian spinners once again worked their magic as they bundled out the visitors for 223 in their second innings, setting India an achievable target to win in a minimum of 27 overs (+15 mandatory overs) at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium.


    

During his knock, Pujara, who opened the innings in place of Dhawan, who could not take to the field on the final day due to an injury on his left knuckle, completed 1000 runs in the country to become the 34th Indian to achieve the landmark.
     
Excluding the one-off Test victory way back in 1996, this was the fifth time India have won the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
     
After the damage was inflicted on Australia by the spinners, India started the chase on a confident note, with both Vijay and Pujara playing some delightful shots before getting out to Doherty and Lyon. Kohli made 34 before being dismissed by Peter Siddle.
     
There were two wickets apiece for fellow left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and off-break bowler Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin leads the wickets tally in the series with 22 scalps, followed by Jadeja who has 17 to his name, reflecting the Indian spinners' dominance.
    
Young paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar had taken three wickets yesterday evening to rock the Australian top-order. India grabbed the remaining seven Australian wickets in the first two sessions while giving away 148 runs runs.
    
In the morning, Jadeja picked up the wickets of Henriques and Clarke -- this was the fifth time in six outings in the series that the Saurashtra player had taken the Australian skipper's wicket.
     
India will now push for a clean sweep when the fourth and final Test starts in New Delhi from Friday.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma

Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin, Moises Henriques, Xavier Doherty, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon 

(JPN/Agencies)

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