Cricket Article

India Defiant For Draw as Frustrated Aussies Revert to Sledging

India Defiant For Draw as Frustrated Aussies Revert to Sledging Photo: TT
Rival captain's Australia's Tim Paine, left, and India's Ajinkya Rahane gesture to each other following play on the final day of the third cricket test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground

India have hung on defiantly to grind out a draw on the final day of the Third Test against Australia in Sydney, keeping the series deadlocked at 1-1 ahead of the fourth and final Test.

Australia and India will resume battle in the Fourth Test at Brisbane’s Gabba from Friday, with the tourists only needing to avoid defeat to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

The fact that that’s the scenario is remarkable, given Australia only required eight wickets on the final day to take a 2-1 series lead, while India needed to bat all day for a draw or score more than 300 runs for victory.

However, India were up to the task and halfway through the second session were half a chance for victory, when Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant combined for a 148-run fourth wicket stand.

Pant was the aggressor, as is his style, even with an injured arm which meant he was unable to keep during Australia’s second innings.

Earlier, Australia dismissed stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane for 4 caught by Matthew Wade off Nathan Lyon who appeared set for a big final day of work.

However, Lyon wasn’t able to provide the requisite final day wickets on the wearing SCG pitch, with Pujara and Pant defiant.

After their lengthy stand, Pant eventually fell on the cusp of Australia taking the new ball, caught by Pat Cummins off Lyon for 97 off 118 balls. His knock included 12 fours and three sixes.

Less than 10 overs later before tea, Pujara also departed for 77 to Josh Hazlewood giving the Aussies hope but the final session was a grind, with India playing ultra defensively after Hanuma Vihari pinged his hamstring.

Vihari finished unbeaten on 23no from 161 balls, while Ravi Ashwin made 39no from 128 deliveries. Tim Paine dropped some chances as Australia were left frustrated.

As a result there was plenty of tension between the sides, with the Aussies overheard sledging Ashwin in particular, led by Paine and Wade.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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