India clinch WTC Final spot as fourth test against Australia drawn
India secured their spot in the World Test Championship Final after a draw in the fourth Test with Australia sealed a 2-1 series win.
Travis Head (90), Marnus Labuschagne (63no) and Steven Smith (10) took Australia to 175-2 and 84 runs ahead when handshakes were exchanged at Narendra Modi Stadium, with the hosts keeping hold of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
With New Zealand beating Sri Lanka with the final ball earlier on Monday, India will now look ahead to the WTC Final at the Oval in England in June – where they will face Australia again.
A largely uneventful day of cricket in Ahmedabad favoured the batters, with India having established a 91-run first-innings lead on Sunday.
Matthew Kuhnemann (six) fell early to an lbw from Ravichandran Ashwin (1-58) but Australia found their batting rhythm with Head and Labuschagne forging a 139-run stand before Axar Patel (1-36) dismissed the former.
On a slow pitch, no further wickets fell and the only question heading into the final session was whether Labuschagne could achieve what Head fell just short of – reaching a century.
However, the teams shook hands at the earliest possible opportunity, with 17.5 overs remaining, to declare a draw and confirm a fourth-successive Border-Gavaskar Trophy series that ended 2-1 to India.
Head falls short
On a day that offered little excitement, Head hit 12 boundaries to finish agonisingly short of reaching his first Test hundred overseas.
However, a score of 90 now stands as Head's highest tally not on Australian soil, with a total of 760 runs in the 2022-23 season his best ever.
Patel limits Australia
The pitch in Ahmedabad did not favour bowlers yet it was navigated well by Patel, who brought the end to Head's charge for a century.
In 19 overs, Australia scored 36 runs with Patel bowling to result in an economy rate of 1.89 – the second-lowest tally on the day from a player with more than five overs.