Steve Smith 'proud' as Australia topple India to reach WTC final
Australia stand-in captain Steve Smith hailed "a complete performance" as the tourists raced to a nine-wicket win over India in Indore to book a place in the World Test Championship final.
In a low-scoring contest at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Australia set the tone on day one by bowling out India for 109, before going on to build an 88-run first-innings advantage.
Eight wickets in the second innings from Nathan Lyon helped to dismiss India for 163, and that left Smith's team needing just 76 for victory on Friday.
They lost Usman Khawaja early, but Travis Head made 49 not out and Marnus Labuschagne an unbeaten 28 to calm any nerves, with Australia reaching a match-winning 78-1 in 18.5 overs.
Lyon was named player of the match, and Smith said: "Nathan got all the rewards with eight wickets, but I think our bowlers as a collective were really good."
He praised the attack one by one, before adding of Australia's effort: "It was a complete performance in the end."
Smith has stepped in to lead the team since Pat Cummins travelled home to Australia for family reasons.
"We're thinking of Patty back home," Smith said at the post-match presentation. "He's had to go home, so our thoughts are with him.
"I really enjoyed this week, I like captaining in this part of the world, I feel like I understand the conditions really well and the intricacies of the game that need to happen ball in and ball out. I think I did a reasonable job this week.
"We're really proud to have clinched a spot in the World Test Championship in a couple of months' time."
It could be India awaiting Australia at the Oval in London in June, and that certainly will be the case if the home side win the fourth Test that begins at the Narendra Modi Stadium next Thursday.
Smith and Australia want to level the series though, having trimmed their arrears to 2-1 with this victory.
"Hopefully we can put up a similar performance and finish the series really well," Smith said.
India skipper Rohit Sharma said his team would "need to regroup and try to understand what we did right in the first two Test matches as well".
He said India have "got to be brave... which I thought we were not".
Lyon's 11 wickets in the match have made him the most successful bowler in Tests between India and Australia, taking him two past Anil Kumble's haul of 111 wickets.
The spinner said: "I just love challenging myself at this level and get a big thrill out of that."