The experienced pair continued to show great character during the final session as well and survived some nervy moments during the course of their unbeaten 62-run partnership which saw the team end the match in a historic draw…reports Asian Lite News
Contrasting half-centuries from Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara, followed by an exemplary display of grit and determination by Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin helped India draw the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Chasing a mammoth target of 407, India reached 334/5 after batting for 131 overs before both the teams decided to shake hands on the final day of the Test match. Vihari, who batted with a sore hamstring throughout the course of his innings, showed great resilience and remained unbeaten on 23 after facing 161 deliveries. He was supported brilliantly by Ashwin who also suffered a lot of blows on his body but didn’t throw away his wicket and remained not on 39 from 128 deliveries.
Earlier, Pant and Pujara shared a 148-run partnership for the fifth wicket after the visitors lost skipper Ajinkya Rahane (4) very early in the day. The duo scored runs at a brisk pace and in fact, not only put India in a position to draw the Test, but also gave the visitors an unlikely hope of an improbable win.
But Pant — after scoring 97 runs off just 118 balls with the help of 12 fours and three sixes — got out against Nathan Lyon in the second session and provided Australia an opening. The game tilted further in Australia’s way when Pujara — who scored his second half-century of the match during his 77-run knock — got out bowled, courtesy a peach of a delivery by Josh Hazlewood.
However, it was then that Vihari and Ashwin came into their own and first helped India end the second session at 280/5 on the final day.
The experienced pair continued to show great character during the final session as well and survived some nervy moments during the course of their unbeaten 62-run partnership which saw the team end the match in a historic draw. Both the batters batted for more than three hours each during the course of their innings and declined Australia with an opportunity to go 2-1 up in the ongoing four-Test series.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill also made notable contributions in the second innings by scoring 52 and 31 runs respectively and helped India gain some confidence as they began their chase of the gigantic target on Day Four.
Australia had posted 338 in their first innings and then bowled out India for 244, thus attaining a 94-run lead. The hosts declared their second innings at 312/6, setting a 407-run target.
Australia had won the first Test by eight wickets in Adelaide while India registered a stunning comeback in Melbourne, winning the Boxing Day Test by eight wickets.
The series, currently tied at 1-1, will now be decided in the final Test beginning Friday at The Gabba in Brisbane.
Brief scores: Australia 338 & 312/6 dec vs India 244 & 334/5 (Rishabh Pant 97, Cheteshwar Pujara 77, Hanuma Vihari 23*, Ravichandran Ashwin 39*; Josh Hazlewood 2/39)
Rahane lauds team’s fighting
India skipper Ajinkya Rahane on Monday lauded his team’s fighting spirit and character after the visitors batted the entire fifth day to draw the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“Our talk coming this morning was to show character and fight till the end and not to think about the result. I am really happy with the way we fought especially today but also throughout the game, even in the first innings when Australia were 200/2 and getting them all out for 338 was really good,” Rahane said at the post-match presentation ceremony while talking about the mindset of the Indian team before entering the final day.
“There are few areas we can improve on but special mention to Vihari and Ashwin. The way they batted in the end and showed character was really good to see,” said the stand-in India skipper.
Australia opener David Warner has said “sorry” to Mohammed Siraj and Team India after members of the visiting team were subjected to alleged racial abuse by a section of a crowd during the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The Indian team had apprised match referee David Boon of alleged racial abuse of players — Jasprit Bumrah and Siraj — by a section of the SCG crowd at the end of the third day’s play. The incident again took place on Sunday following which six people were evicted from the stand just before Tea during Australia’s second innings on Day Four of the Test match.
In an Instagram post, Warner on Tuesday said “racism and abuse is not in any way acceptable or tolerated anywhere at any time” and added that he would “expect better” for the home crowd.
“I’d also like to say sorry to Mohammed Siraj and the Indian team as racism, and abuse is not in any way acceptable or tolerated anywhere at any time, and I would expect better from our home crowd,” said the left-handed batsman.
Also read:Bumrah, Siraj allege racial abuse