India enforced a draw on day 5 of the 3rd Test in Sydney courtesy some brilliant defensive batting from Hanuma Vihari (23 of 161) and Ravichandran Ashwin (39 of 128) as they added 62* off 259 balls after the Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant stand which gave hopes of an Indian win.
However, the draw as good as a win for India as it keeps the series alive as both teams look forward to the Brisbane Test. Both Vihari and Ashwin took blows on their body as they batted for over three hours together to help India salvage a draw. Vihari in the process injured his hamstring and is likely to miss the final Test. More about the day 5 report in detail below.
India started the day on 98 for 4 and still needed 309 runs to win. They lost skipper Ajinkya Rahane in the second over of the day. However, it was Rishabh Pant who played a counter-attacking knock and gave India a chance to win. Pant added 148 with Cheteshwar Pujara (77) who scored his highest score of the series.
Both the batsmen made the Australian bowlers toil hard for the wicket. However, It was Nathan Lyon who broke the partnership by dismissing Pant and bringing back Australia into the game. The Indian scorecard read 250 then. Josh Hazlewood then dismissed Pujara within 20 runs as India lost back to back wickets.
India Draw SCG Test Courtesy Rearguard Action
Ajinkya Rahane & Co then presented a rearguard action with Ashwin and Vihari staying put. They added an unbeaten 62 run stand from 259 deliveries. Both of them batted for more than three hours and dig in deep.
Post tea, the Australian bowlers bowled a lot of short stuff to the Indian batsmen but both Vihari and Ashwin were up to it. With the final 10 overs of the game left, Australian skipper Tim Paine dropped a regulation chance to give Vihari a life late in the day. In all, Paine dropped three chances on the final day. He dropped two catches off Pant and one of Vihari.
The Australian bowlers never gave up throughout the final day’s play and kept coming back at the Indian batters. However, the resilience of Vihari and Ashwin topped the consistency of the Australian bowlers on the final day.
This draw sets up the series perfectly with The Brisbane Test as the decider. The visitors will need to either draw or win the Test to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Australia meanwhile, will need to win the Test match to regain the trophy as well. A loss will see them losing two back-to-back Test series against the World No.3 side.
Australia 338 & 312/6 dec vs India 244 & 334/5 (Rishabh Pant 97, Cheteshwar Pujara 77, Hanuma Vihari 23*, R Ashwin 39*; Josh Hazlewood 2/39)