LONDON (AP) — Australia was primed for the Ashes series after winning the World Test Championship by crushing India by 209 runs on the fifth morning of the final at the Oval on Sunday.
Despite a never-reached target of 444, India started the last day with hope at 164-3 and linchpin Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in the middle. But after Kohli was out to a great second-slip catch by Steve Smith, India lasted only an hour longer and was all out for 234 by the scheduled lunch.
The first-time world test champion Australians dominated the final to win with two sessions to spare and uber-hype an Ashes series against test cricket’s most in-form side, England, which has won 12 of its last 17 tests and not lost a series over the past year.
The Australians potently answered the doubts about them before the final: Their readiness, David Warner, and the adaptability of Cameron Green and Scott Boland on their first test tours of the United Kingdom. Everyone hit the ground running, some after months out; Warner toughed out 43 in the first innings; and Green and Boland starred in a bowling unit which relentlessly hit the right lines and lengths to bustle out India twice.
“Everyone was switched on,” proud Australia captain Pat Cummins said. “At times we weren’t our slickest but for the most part we were in control.
“The last couple of months, our preparation has been for six test matches over here. We looked at India and knew we’ve got four or five days before we switch our attention across to England. We’ve seen it as one big tour with two huge titles to play for, and it’s good to tick the first one off.”