Australia cleaned up India’s lower order with a barrage of hostile bowling before lunch on the fifth day to secure a series-levelling, confidence-boosting 146-run victory in the second test on Tuesday.
Having set India a daunting 287 runs to win on a menacing Perth Stadium pitch, Australia dismissed the tourists for 140 midway through the first session to win an engrossing, low-scoring contest.
Australia’s wickets were shared around with Man of the Match Nathan Lyon (3-39), who is fast becoming something of a national hero, and quick Mitchell Starc (3-46) the pick of the bowlers.
It was sweet revenge for Australia after a nail-biting 31-run defeat in the series-opener at Adelaide Oval and ensured captain Tim Paine his first win in five tests as skipper.
“As a group we’re relieved, it’s been hard work,” Paine told reporters.
“The first two tests in this series have been tough. It’s been a bruising test match. To get a win like that against the number one test team is going to give us a huge boost of confidence.”
India, looking for a first test series win in Australia, had pinned their faint hopes on Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant when they resumed on 112-5 but they all but evaporated when the former fell for 28 in the sixth over of the morning.
When Pant miscued a slog off Lyon to be brilliant caught by a diving Peter Handscomb at mid-wicket for 30, India simply imploded, losing their last four wickets for just three runs.
It was Australia’s first win since March 5 in Durban before the damaging ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that rocked the nation.
Without suspended former captain and vice-captain, Steve Smith and David Warner, Australia’s shallow batting depth has been laid bare.
This, though, was a much improved effort on a troublesome drop-in wicket and the 326 the hosts made in the first innings after Paine had won the toss and decided to bat first was instrumental in the victory.
Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch and Travis Head each compiled half-centuries in the first innings and Usman Khawaja grabbed another as Australia tallied 243 in the second.
India, by contrast, looked reliant on their talismanic captain Virat Kohli, who contributed 123 of India’s 283 runs in the first innings with the only century of the match.
The tourists will regret their gamble at the selection table, playing without a specialist spinner in the absence of the injured Ravichandran Ashwin.
Speedster Umesh Yadav was preferred over spinning all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, but struggled with match figures of 2-139.