Aussies forced to settle for draw, and series win
AUSTRALIA has won the Border Gavaskar Trophy, but not in the fashion it was hoping, after the third Test at the MCG ended in a draw.
India negotiated the 66 overs required to finish 6-174 chasing an unlikely 384 to win.
A draw looked highly unlikely though when the visitors were staring down the barrel of defeat at 3-19, before first-innings saviours Ajinkya Rahane (48) and Virat Kohli (54) combined for an 85-run partnership.
When Kohli fell to Ryan Harris on the first ball after tea, the hosts were right in with a shot of snaring a victory again.
Cheteshwar Pujara (21) and Rahane then fell with the score at 141 and 142, before captain MS Dhoni (24 not out) and Ravi Ashwin (eight not out) steered their team to safety.
Aussie quicks Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Josh Hazlewood got plenty out of the fifth-day wicket, taking two scalps each.
Earlier in the day, Australian batsman Shaun Marsh was robbed of a maiden century on home shores, taking off for a tight single on 99, but Kohli had other ideas, hitting the stumps with Marsh just short.
He was just the third Australian to be run out on 99 in Test cricket.
Captain Steve Smith may have declared a little too late with his side building up a more than comfortable lead.
But the Indians had their nervous moments with the willow.
They were 1-2 with man-of-the-match Harris getting Shikhar Dhawan lbw for a duck.
Debutant Lokesh Rahul then fell for one, miscuing an attempted pull shot off Johnson to be caught by Shane Watson at slip running backwards, with the score 2-5.
The pressure heaped up even more on the visitors when Hazlewood trapped in-form opener Murali Vijay in front lbw for 11, with the score still only 12.
Replays suggested the ball would have missed leg stump, but India once again chose not to use the DRS system for this series.
Rahane and Kohli then pulled India out of the fire, much like they did in their first innings with some aggressive stroke play.
Kohli's second ball was a 145kmh bouncing thunderbolt from Johnson, which he promptly dispatched for four with class.
But in the heat of the mounting pressure, he had his nervous moments, twice almost running himself out after being stranded mid-pitch.
After telling reporters he had "no respect" for many of the Australian players following his classy first innings knock of 169, the Australians, in particular wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, made sure they made their feelings known towards Kohli in the field.
And when Harris got him on the first ball after tea, followed by a slower-ball gem then spun and took Pujara's off stump, the hosts thought they were on their way to a 3-0 series lead.
But Ashwin and Dhoni showed their experience to block out a frenetic push for victory.