A battered and bruised India team batted resiliently through the final day to snatch a remarkable draw in the third Test against Australia on Monday, leaving an engrossing series tied at 1-1 heading into the final match in Brisbane.
A hobbling Hanuma Vihari combined with Ravichandran Ashwin to defy the Australia attack in a partnership over the last three hours of the match and keep alive India’s hopes of a second successive series triumph Down Under.
The sixth-wicket stand was worth only 62 runs but immeasurably more in terms of morale for a squad that has endured quarantine, alleged racial abuse from fans and a catalogue of injuries.
Australia’s frontline bowlers, who skittled the tourists for 36 in the first Test, threw everything they had at the Indian batsmen on a day five wicket that did not deteriorate as much as they had hoped.
India finished on 334 for five, 73 runs short of the victory target of 407 that Australia had handed them after declaring on 312-6 at tea on Sunday.
Apart from all this, Australia skipper Tim Paine’s efforts to throw Ravichandran Ashwin off-guard failed terribly on the final day of the ongoing Pink Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the off-spinner had the perfect comeback in store.
Unable to take wickets, Australia skipper Paine was trying his best to distract Ashwin and he was caught on stump mic as saying: “Can’t wait for you to reach Gabba, Ash.”
To this, Ashwin immediately responded: “Can’t wait for you to come to India as well, that would be your last series.”
But then Tim Paine took a dig at Ashwin and said “At least my teammates like me, di**head,” Paine said.
Here’s the video:
Earlier, Marnus Labuschagne did something he doesn’t do very often during day five of the third Test. He went quiet.
But his teammates were sure to let him know about it when he found his voice again after Nathan Lyon broke the 148-run partnership between Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara.
“That is going to rag with the new … That is going to rag with the new ball, Garry Lyon). You’re going to get both wickets Garry,” Labuschagne said soon after the wicket.
“Shut up Marnus, it’s coming back to you,” said one of his teammates, before David Warner started ripping in.
“Don’t leave it in the sheds Marnus, don’t leave it in the sheds,” Warner said.
“It’s amazing, you get a wicket Painey and Marnus doesn’t shut up
“Got to be consistent Marnus, talk all day please.”