Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin competed together for 42.4 overs in two sessions on day five to help India make a draw in the third Test against Australia in Sydney. The teams are now heading to Brisbane for the fourth and final Test with the series level 1-1 and everything to play for. India started the day at 98 for 2 and needed 309 runs to win. Cheteshwar Pujara’s patient 77 of 205 balls and Rishabh Pant’s whirlwind 97 of 118 gave India hope for a while, but their wickets and a hamstring injury at Vihari forced India to close the shop. Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane said the team did not think about the outcome when they hit the ball on the final day.
“Our talk this morning was to show character and fight to the end. Not to think about the result,” Rahane said after the game.
“Really happy with the way we fought, especially today, but also throughout the game, even in the first innings when Australia was 200 for 2 and giving them all for 338 was really good.”
The Indian captain praised Vihari and Ashwin, who, despite intense scrutiny by the Australian pacers and some verbal bursts by close-in fielders, kept their composure and made it through the final session.
“There are only a few areas we can improve on, but special mention to Vihari and Ashwin. The way they hit the end and showed character was really good to see,” said Rahane.
Australian captain Tim Paine condemned the dropped catches – three of them had been dropped by Paine herself – while praising the bowlers for creating opportunities to take wicket.
Wicket-keeper Paine dropped Pant twice and let Vihari graze at the last moments of the day.
“I thought we created enough chances to win the game, this one is hard to swallow. Our bowlers were fantastic, (Nathan) Lyon bowling good. Just that we (especially me) weren’t holding our catches,” said Paine. after the match.
Looking at the positives of the test, Paine said: “We didn’t play our best in the last two games, but we were pretty good with the bat in this test. There were a few positives for us, our bowlers created a lot of opportunities. .
“Today was a genuine effort on the part of the boys, just that it didn’t go well.”
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