Virender Sehwag provided the entertainment on an otherwise dull fifth day in Adelaide that saw Australia gain the draw they needed to clinch the series.
The opener hit 151 from 236 balls to help India reach 269-7 before Anil Kumble declared to bring an early end to the match.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the next highest scorer with 20, while Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee both picked up two wickets apiece.
The tame finish to the game means Ricky Ponting's side end up with the Border-Gavaskar trophy by a 2-1 margin.
Australia's captain was not present on the final day, meaning Adam Gilchrist - playing in his final Test - captained the home team.
The wicketkeeper-batsman tried his best to engineer a match-winning position but Sehwag's fine knock made sure India didn't wilt.
It wasn't until the final session that the tourists, who had resumed in the morning on 45-1, made the game safe with a 51-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Rahul Dravid had given India an early cause for concern when he was forced to retire on 11 after being hit on the finger by a short delivery from Lee.
That brought Sachin Tendulkar to the crease and he was given an excellent reception from the crowd in what is likely to be his final Test appearance on Australian soil.
The Little Master was unable to finish with a flourish, though, making just 13 before he was run out by the bowler, Johnson, attempting a quick single.
Sehwag smashed 72 runs in the first session of play but was more watchful in the afternoon following the dismissals of Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
At 186-4 the game was still not dead but Dhoni rode his luck to post a crucial stand either side of the tea interval that was ended by a stunning one-handed catch by Matthew Hayden at second slip.
Sehwag fell soon after, becoming Gilchrist's final Test victim in the process when he was caught behind off Andrew Symonds' bowling.
He had hit 11 fours and two sixes and most importanly batted for nearly six hours to make sure his side didn't finish the controversial but highly competitive series on a losing note.