Australia defeat India in Perth to level the series

Australia won a Test match for the first time since March’s ball-tampering controversy as they beat India in Perth to level the series at 1-1.

India, chasing 287 for victory, began the final day on 112-5 but were bowled out for 140 to lose by 146 runs.

Australia needed only 15 overs to wrap up the win – Tim Paine’s first since succeeding Steve Smith as captain.

“It’s a relief more than anything,” said Paine. “It’s taken a while with everything that’s happened.”

Australia struck in the sixth over of the final day, as Hanuma Vihari was caught off Mitchell Starc.

Rishabh Pant soon followed – miscuing a shot off Nathan Lyon, who finished with match figures of 8-106 – and India’s tail quickly wilted.

The next Test in the four-match series takes place in Melbourne, starting on Boxing Day.

Victory in Perth came in Paine’s fifth Test match as captain.

Paine said before this series that “gaining the respect of our country and fans is as high priority as winning”.

He clashed verbally with India skipper Virat Kohli during the second Test at the Perth Stadium, which was hosting its first Test.

But, at the end of the match, the India batsman played down the confrontation.

“As long as there is no swearing and personal attacks then the line doesn’t get crossed,” said Kohli.

“Australia played better cricket than us and deserved to win.”

Kohli also defended the decision to bring in paceman Umesh Yadav – instead of another spinner – for the injured Ravichandran Ashwin, particularly given Lyon’s contribution.

“If you see the rough, it didn’t have much assistance,” said Kohli. “Just the pace on the ball that Lyon bowled with, that’s how he got the wickets.

“We thought a fast bowler was going to be more productive and more helpful.”

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