Hyderabad: Australia had been expected to struggle against spin on day four, but the collapse that panned out on Tuesday morning was perhaps swifter than they too could have envisioned. Ishant Sharma set the tone with his best spell of the series, but it was the spinners Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin who ran through the line-up to inflict an innings-and-135-run win on the hapless tourists. India's second-biggest win over Australia was MS Dhoni's 22nd, making him the country's most successful Test captain ever.
Australia were simply suffocated in a probing 35 overs of play. Ishant found some reverse swing and tried to strangle the batsmen down the leg side, before Jadeja removed Michael Clarke, Ed Cowan and Moises Henriques in three successive overs as Australia crashed from 108 for 3 to 111 for 6. Ashwin simply had to pitch the ball on the stumps to elicit apprehension, and finished with 5 for 63 as Australia folded for 131, thus becoming the first team to lose a Test by an innings after declaring their first innings.
Trailing by 192 runs, Australia were looking to Cowan and Shane Watson to lay a platform but instead they lost Watson for the addition of one run to the overnight total. As Sachin Tendulkar had on Monday, Watson tickled a leg-side delivery down the pads to a diving MS Dhoni. It was Ishant's first wicket of the series after 39 overs.
Ishant was confident he had Clarke caught off the pads too even though replays did not show an edge, and had words with the Australian captain. That excellent spell (5-2-5-1) had set Australia back further, and with spin from both ends the pressure was building. Clarke's response to the verbal banter and pressure of four close-catchers was to dance down and loft Jadeja for six over mid-off; however, the aggression was short-lived. A superb delivery from Jadeja, with plenty of drift and a hint of turn, beat Clarke's forward prod and cannoned into off stump. Jadeja had bowled Clarke in the first innings too.
Cowan, who resumed the day on 26 off 100 deliveries, had a shaky first half hour during which he was given a free single by the umpire when he was actually beaten for movement, and later a life when a clip off the pads went through three short legs. As the clock ticked to an hour of play, Cowan was put out of his troubles when he under-edged a cut off Jadeja onto Dhoni's pads, which then bounced to Virender Sehwag at slip. Moments later, Jadeja's golden arm struck again. Matthew Wade tapped the ball to cover, set off, and despite a fumble in the covers Jadeja nailed a direct hit to run out Moises Henriques for 0. India had been lifted almost single-handedly, and the cheer for Jadeja's fling onto the stumps reverberated.
From here the rest folded. Ashwin extracted Glenn Maxwell with a carom ball; Peter Siddle poked Jadeja to gully; Wade edged Ashwin to slip; and Australia had lost six wickets for 22 runs in 12.3 overs. The final wicket fell when Ashwin trapped James Pattinson lbw for a 27-ball 0.