India clinch first 4-0 series win

For the second time in successive Test matches, India reached their victory target with an M S Dhoni boundary. On Sunday, after he clouted Nathan Lyon past the midwicket ropes, the India skipper had plenty of reason for a rare display of emotion. The winning hit had sealed a 4-0 series whitewash, an unprecedented feat for India. Australia hadn't been on the wrong end of such a scoreline since their tour of South Africa in 1969-70.

Dhoni's side, however, were far from unaccustomed to such reverses, having experienced it twice, on their last two overseas tours. Now, they had turned things around, with a youthful team that had no room for some of its biggest names of the recent past.

Having watched the ball crash into the advertising hoardings, Dhoni didn't raise his arms or roar in elation. He stood still for a couple of seconds, turned around, and walked slowly back to his crease to take possession of a stump.

From the non-striker's end, Cheteshwar Pujara strode up the pitch in a similarly unhurried manner. Even a pair of flawless half-centuries, scored from an unfamiliar batting position on a perilous wicket with a broken finger, only brought to his face a shy smile. Dhoni and Pujara, as they met mid-pitch in a muted embrace, possibly had the lowest heart-rates among the mass of humanity that had filled the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium almost to capacity.

Where previous victories over Australia had featured dramatic turnarounds and wildly fluctuating emotional graphs, this six-wicket win had been almost too easy. All the turmoil had been restricted to the visitors' camp.

Dhoni himself had set the tone in Chennai, when he had walked in with the first Test in the balance (India 324/5 replying to Australia's 380) and smashed 224 to take the momentum entirely the home side's way. Since that knock, everything had fallen in place for India. By the end of the series, nearly all the gaps that were evident in the side after their defeat to England earlier in the season appeared to have been plugged.

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