AUS vs IND: India held on to their nerves as the third test ends in a draw
The third test between India and Australia came down to the final day in highly dramatic circumstances and ended with a draw.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat first with the series levelled at 1-1.
India had 2 changes as Umesh Yadav who suffered injury in the second match was ruled out and Navdeep Saini, the young pacer from Delhi got his debut. Rohit Sharma replaced Mayank Agarwal in the team. For Australia, David Warner and Will Pucovski came in for Joe Burns and Travis Head.
Australia’s woes with the opening pair continued in this match as well. The find of the series for India, Mohmmad Siraj got the wicket of David Warner soon.
The Australian debutant Will Pucovski found himself lucky couple of times as his catches were dropped a few times by the Indian team. He went on to score 62 on his debut before getting out to Saini. Labuschagne and Smith after long time got themselves set and had a partnership. Labuschagne went on to score 91 while Smith got to his 27th test ton. After Labuschagne fell no other batsmen could score as they couldn’t face the Indian bowlers. Only Starc provided some healthy runs at the end. Australian innings was soon wrapped up at 338 with a brilliant throw off Jadeja to dismiss the centurion Smith.
For India, Jadeja shined in the first innings as he picked 4 wickets and a brilliant run-out.
Indian batting had another change in the opening pair as Rohit and Gill came out to open for the first time in tests. They looked solid at the crease as they went on to have the first 50+ opening stand in this series for the Indian team.
Sharma was soon dismissed by Hazelwood as Rohit gave the ball straight back to the bowler. Gill went on to score his maiden test half-century in tests but was immediately dismissed by Cummins. Pujara and Rahane survived the Day 2 and came out to bat on Day 3. Rahane was dismissed early on the Day 3. Pujara scored his slowest half-century in tests but was again dismissed by Cummins to brilliant delivery. Pant batter well with Pujara but after receiving a blow to his left elbow couldn’t play well and was soon dismissed by Hazelwood. Jadeja batted well with the tail as he scored quick runs and got the lead just under 100.
Australia tired the Indian bowlers out as Labuschagne and Smith again got a 100+ runs stand.
Paine and Green batted with an intent to go for as much as runs possible. Green went on to have his maiden half-century as he was dismissed at 84 just before the tea on Day 4. Australia declared on 312 with a lead of 406. India had to chase 407 in four sessions to win. Indian began their chase strongly as Gill and Sharma again showed their talent and had another 50+ runs stand in this match. Gill was dismissed by Hazelwood on 31 as they Indian team lost their first wicket. Rohit went on to have his first overseas half-century as an opener. Rohit was dismissed by Cummins on an ordinary short ball which he tries to pull away for a maximum. Pujara and Rahane survived the rest of the overs on Day 4. India needed to survive the entire Day 5 to draw or get 311 runs in order to win.
Rahane was dismissed in the second over of the Day 5. The dismissal of Rahane seemed the end for India. Rishabh Pant who was injured in the first innings, didn’t field in the Australian second innings was promoted up the order and came out at No. 5. Pant played cautiously for the first few overs. He was well supported by Pujara at the other end. He then took on the Aussies as he changed his gears and went after them. He started smacking Nathan Lyon for maximums. He got an occasional boundary off the pacers. Pujara too was rotating the strike and the building the pressure on the Aussies. Pant went on to score his first half century of this series in no time. Pujara too got his half century soon. The partnership between Pant and Pujara was above 145 and looked to get the game away from the Aussies. That’s when Lyon striked and got Pant who was just short of 3 runs of his ton. Pant was dismissed on 97 trying to hit over covers. Pujara and Vihari looked solid as Pujara was getting quick runs. Vihari in the process pulled his hamstring and almost couldn’t run. Pujara was soon dismissed by Hazelwood who knocked his stumps over. With Vihari limping and Ashwin having a dry run with the bat for past few years, it seemed a dead game for India. Ashwin and Vihari outplayed the Australian bowlers. They almost played 300 deliveries as they went on to add 50 runs stand between them. The duo faced a lot of challenge at the start as Vihari couldn’t run and Ashwin was facing blows to his body. They got through them, survived almost 50 overs against the Australian bowling attack and drew the game for India.
Steve Smith was declared as Man of the Match for his century in the first innings. The series still remains levelled with one match to go in Brisbane.