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Joy of six for Ashwin as India level Australia series with thrilling fightback

Australia enjoyed a fine morning in Bangalore on Tuesday but were ultimately well beaten as Ravichandran Ashwin starred again for India.

RaviAshwin - Cropped
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin returned 6-41 as India completed a superb fightback to beat Australia by 75 runs in Bangalore and level their four-Test series.

A thrilling fourth day at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium saw India, who were 87 behind on first innings, collapse to 274 all out before exploiting increasing variation in bounce on a wearing surface to successfully defend 188.

Australia were simply unable to build partnerships, Steve Smith (28) and Peter Handscomb (24) offering the only real resistance as the hosts were skittled for 112, their last six wickets falling for the addition of just 11 runs.

Josh Hazlewood had impressed with the ball in India's second innings, returning 6-67, but Ashwin - the only man above the Australia paceman in the ICC's Test bowling rankings - came up with the perfect response for Virat Kohli's men.

The prolific off-spinner matched Hazlewood's haul of half a dozen wickets and India's victory was completed shortly after tea when Ashwin had Nathan Lyon, who returned 8-50 on day one, caught and bowled.

Success for Kohli's side owed much to Cheteshwar Pujara (92) and Ajinkya Rahane (52). The duo extended their fifth-wicket partnership to 118 on Tuesday before Australia hit back impressively with the new ball, claiming four breakthroughs in eight deliveries.

Bowling a full length, Mitchell Starc had Rahane lbw on review before cleaning up Karun Nair first ball. Hazlewood then ousted the obdurate Pujara with a lifter that induced an edge to gully and Ashwin was bowled by one that kept low, the two dismissals illustrating the growing challenge facing batsmen.

Ishant Sharma claimed the first wicket of Australia's chase, Matt Renshaw caught behind for five, while Ashwin was maybe a little fortunate to have David Warner lbw for 17, the batsman's review proving unsuccessful by the finest of margins.

India saw things go their way on two further occasions as Umesh Yadav swung the match in their favour. A review would have saved Shaun Marsh when the left-hander was adjudged leg before and Smith could do little about the grubber that saw him lbw - Australia's skipper infuriating India by apparently seeking dressing-room advice over whether to use DRS.

Ashwin took centre stage thereafter, claiming five of the next six wickets to fall as the match was brought to a swift conclusion either side of tea.

Fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja also played a key role in building pressure, taking 1-3 from eight overs, and the series is now tied at 1-1 ahead of next week's third Test in Ranchi.

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