Earlier this week, India earned a draw in the third Test in Sydney on the back of a memorable fourth innings batting performance. The Ajinkya Rahane-led team have pulled off the greatest escape at the SCG in more than 50 years, holding on to draw a thrilling third Test against Australia. The tourists resumed on 98-2, chasing an unlikely 407 to win, and lost captain Ajinkya Rahane early on.
The draw also capped one of India’s most resilient efforts in memory, keeping the series level at 1-1 with the final Test to begin in Brisbane this week. The glorious run chase in the third Test against the West Indies at Port of Spain in April 1976 that saw India score a then-world record 406/4 in the fourth innings to pull off an improbable win will remain the benchmark.
“Our talk this morning was all about showing character and fight to the end and not think about the result, so we’re really happy with the way we fought,” Captain Rahane said. “Special mention to Vihari and Ashwin in the end showing that character – it was really great to see. Credit to Pant. We promoted him because it was about that left-hand, right-hand combination in the middle and it worked out.”
Pant scored a rearguard 97 from 118 balls after India lost captain Ajinkya Rahane to Nathan Lyon in the second over of the day. He was able to ride his luck after Paine dropped him on both three and 56 off the offspinner. Not since South Africa batted through 117 eight-ball overs in 1964 to deny Australia has a team faced more balls to survive at the SCG.
Australia’s Tim Paine grassed three chances including one diving in front of David Warner from Vihari with 8.1 overs to go. “I thought we would create enough chances to win the game and I thought we did,” Paine said. “It’s a tough one to swallow, particularly given my situation. we just didn’t hold our catches, myself in particular. You have to cop the blame for that, wear it, and move on to Brisbane.”
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