India’s great escape: Tourists hit through a mammoth 131 overs in the fourth innings in Sydney to force an unlikely draw against Australia and bring exciting series to a decider at The Gabba
- The third test between Australia and India ended in an unlikely draw on Monday
- India’s defiant batsman dropped 131 overs and left the series 1-1
- The decisive test for exciting series begins on Friday at the Gabba in Brisbane
- Hanuma Vihari and Ravi Ashwin endured a full session to lead India home
- Previously, Rishabh Pant hit 97 and Cheteshwar Pujara scored 77 to deny Australia
India’s batsmen made a great escape in Sydney to lead their exciting streak with Australia to a pivotal fourth Test later this week.
Australia took eight wickets on the final day to claim victory but managed only three when Rishabh Pant hit 97 of 118 balls and Cheteshwar Pujara came on with 77.
Hanuma Vihari and Ravi Ashwin led India across the line when the Australian bowlers didn’t do anything at the SCG evening event, thanks in large part to Captain Tim Paine, who dropped three catches.
Ravichandran Ashwin (left) and Hanuma Vihari battled India for an unlikely SCG draw
The couple survived the entire evening event to lead India to a highly unlikely tie on Monday
The Australian Nathan Lyon appeals unsuccessfully for Vihari’s release on the fifth day
Mitchell Starc sums up a day of frustration for Australia when they only took three wickets
Australian captain Tim Paine does not congratulate batsman Ravi Ashwin on stumps
The 131 overs batted are the most India has seen in the fourth innings of a friendly match since 1980.
This means that the series is very well positioned at the 1-1 start in the final test on Friday in Brisbane.
India started the day at 98 for two and took another 309 to claim a highly unlikely victory. But in the end they only finished 73 with 334 for five.
However, her tail was worn out from injuries as Ravindra Jadeja waited in the pavilion in the protective kit despite his broken thumb.
But he wasn’t required as a vihari handicapped himself by a thigh strain placed on going through a single, and Ashwin blocked an increasingly ragged Australian bowling attack for 258 supplies.
Australia is crowding around Ashwin, while Lyon is looking in vain for further gates
Matthew Wade sums up a day of frustration for the hosts not being able to take on a series lead
Previously, Pant (97) and Pujara (77) had come together to form a booth with 148 runs, which put pressure on Australia again.
Nathan Lyon removed Pant in the final game with the old ball and when Josh Hazlewood bowled Pujara to hit the total of 272 for five it seemed Australia could still do so.
There have been many nervous moments for Ashwin and Vihari. The former was issued, but successfully reversed the reversed decision.
He was also hit in the body by a short ball and survived a sunk catch to land unbeaten with 39 balls out of 128.
Australian captain Tim Paine reacts after scoring a goal against Vihari in the last session
Paine celebrates removing Rishabt Pant for 97 as Australia makes a major breakthrough
Vihari faced 161 balls for his unbeaten 23 and gained his own late reprieve by dropping the hook behind the stumps for Mitchell Starc and Paine.
Overall, Australia had four catches in an unusual performance in India’s second inning.
Australia have not lost a Gabba Test since 1988 and India is injured but will be won over by this formidable defiance.