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The star performers in Mohali

Last updated on: March 18, 2013 20:59 IST

Dhawan's century on debut gave India the upper hand

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India marched to another victory against Australia in Mohali, to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-match series.

The visitors offered some resistance in this match, scoring 400-plus in the first innings but in the end India once again proved to be too strong.

Despite the first day being rained off, India were able to snatch victory late on the fifth day in a dramatic finish.

India's victory push was led by the blitzkrieg from debutant Shikhar Dhawan and his opening partner Murali Vijay as they put on a huge opening stand in quick time to make up for the lost time.

The spinners also made vital contributions and once again Ravindra Jadeja proved his utility with some key wickets at important moments.

For Australia, there were a few memorable performances as Peter Siddle shone with the ball, while Mitchell Starc and Steven Smith made important contributions with the bat.

Here is a look at the players who shone in Mohali:

Shikhar Dhawan:

Shikhar Dhawan's batting was the highlight of the third day's play in Mohali. Opening the batting in his debut Test match, Dhawan went on the attack right from the start and notched up a brilliant century in his first ever innings in Test cricket.

He played an entertaining innings of 187 from 174 balls, hitting 33 fours and two sixes to lead India's dominance with the bat.

Dhawan slammed his century from just 85 balls to register the fastest century by a debutant in Test cricket.

One of the many other records he broke on the day was going past Gundappa Viswanath's score of 137 for a highest score by an Indian batsman on debut.

The Australian bowlers looked completely helpless against Dhawan's brilliant batting that saw him hitting boundaries at will to every corner of the ground. His opening partnership with Murali Vijay helped India take control of the game from that moment itself.

Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: BCCI
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Vijay played an uncharacteristic knock

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Murali Vijay

Murali Vijay also played his part in helping India take control of the game. Vijay, known for his attacking approach, adopted a more mature role and preferred to play the waiting game.

Vijay cut down on his shot making and proved perfect foil to Dhawan's attacking approach.

Vijay's shot selection was top class and he chose his moments to attack the spinners, including the two sixes in a single over off Nathan Lyon.

He impressed with his temperament as he played a fluent knock of 153 to help India take the vital first innings lead of 91 runs.


Image: Murali Vijay
Photographs: BCCI
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Jadeja has made Clarke his bunny

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Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja seems to be hurting Australia where it hurts the most.

Michael Clarke came into the series as the leading batsman in the world and was expected to chore a majority of the burden for the tourists.

He even scored a century in the first Test in Chennai but once Jadeja got the measure of him his batting was thrown into complete disarray.

Jadeja has made Clarke his bunny and claimed his wicket five times in a row in the series to deal the visitors a huge psychological blow.

Not only Clarke, Jadeja has chipped in with vital wickets whenever he has come in to bowl and has been one of India's top bowler in the series along with R Ashwin.

He was India's top wicket-taker in the Mohali Test with a match haul of six wickets for 112 runs.

Jadeja also struck a couple of vital boundaries towards the end to ease off the pressure as India won the match with 15 deliveries to spare.


Image: Ravindra Jadeja
Photographs: BCCI
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Siddle's 'five-star' performance on a flat track

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Peter Siddle

Pacer Peter Siddle took five wickets in India's first innings to give his team glimmer of a hope and keep them in the hunt for a series-levelling victory.

Siddle and pace partner Mitchell Starc made most of the second new ball to claim two wickets apiece that helped restrict India to 499 in their first innings after they looked set for a much bigger total when they resumed the day on 283 for no loss.

India lost four wickets in the space of 34 deliveries for the addition of 19 runs as they lost the initiative after the 289-run opening stand between centurions Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay.

Siddle then crippled India further claiming the wickets of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin, who were both caught behind by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Siddle cleaned up the tail to finish with wonderful figures of five for 71 in 29.1 overs on a flat wicket.


Image: Peter Siddle
Photographs: BCCI
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Smith's footwork against spinners helped him reap rich dividends

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Steven Smith

Steven Smith ended his two-year hiatus in Test cricket with a superb innings of 92 that that saved Australia the blushes on the second day.

Smith last played for Australia two years back and his recall was necessitated after Australia axed four players for indiscipline.

But Smith proved he could command a place in the side on his own as he put on 97 runs for the eighth wicket with Mitchell to not only frustrate India on Day 3 but also take Australia towards a healthy total.

Smith started his career as a leg spinner but has become a specialist batsman in the last few years. He showed good footwork against the Indian spinners and adopted a positive approach right from the start.

Image: Steven Smith
Photographs: BCCI
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Starc was unlucky to miss his maiden Test century

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Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc came good with the bat when it mattered, with a fighting innings of 99 that shored up Australia's total.

Batting at No. 9, Starc was unlucky to miss his maiden Test century by a whisker when he was caught behind off Ishant Sharma for 99.

Had he got that elusive run he would have become the first Australian to score a century at No. 9 in 66 years.

The left-hander, 23, hit 14 fours in 144 balls during his 146-minute stay at the crease.

Image: Mitchell Starc
Photographs: BCCI
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Bhuvanehwar made most of the new ball and troubled the Australian top order

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Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Bhuvneshwar Kumar's three-wicket burst at the start of the Australian second innings opened the door slightly and put India in with the chance of pushing for victory.

He made most of the new ball and troubled the Australian top order by moving around getting both the Australian openers early on.

The young pacer started with a wicket in the very first over, getting rid of dangerman David Warner, who was caught behind for two.

Ed Cowan became his second victim when he was trapped leg before wicket for eight as both the openers perished cheaply.

Dhoni persisted with his young pacer and kept him on for the seventh over and he repaid his captain's faith by getting the wicket of Steven Smith for five.

Photographs: BCCI
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