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India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin Script India's Great Test Escape at the SCG

India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin Script India's Great Test Escape at the SCG

A stubborn resistance from Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari saw India manage to pull off an unlikely draw against Australia on the final day of the third Test at Sydney on Monday.

A stubborn resistance from Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari saw India manage to pull off an unlikely draw against Australia on the final day of the third Test at Sydney on Monday (January 11). Chasing a mammoth 407 to win the Test, Ashwin (39) and Vihari (23) managed to bat out the entirety of the third session and ensure that the Test series remains tied at 1-1 going into the final Test in Brisbane. They had their shares of luck along the way thanks to a few dropped catches and the occasional edge not carrying to the nearby fielders, but no one can argue they didn’t deserve the result.

India vs Australia, 3rd Test Full Scorecard | India vs Australia, 3rd Test  Highlights

At one point, it seemed like India were pushing for what at one time seemed an improbable win. Yet when Australia removed the dangerous Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara before tea, it left the Indians in a spot of bother going into the final session.

Australia grabbed the prize wicket of Pant for 97 as his explosive innings fell short of a century when he was caught by Pat Cummins off Nathan Lyon going for another big hit.

Josh Hazlewood bowled the usually solid Pujara, who brought up 6,000 Test runs before his resistance was broken after a battling 77 off 205 balls.

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The primary aim going into the final session was merely to see out the remainder of the day, as was evidenced by Vihari and Ashwin looking to either block or leave everything that came their way and both batted over three hours to ensure a well-earned draw for the visitors.

India resumed at the day 98-2, still needing a further 309 runs after being set a huge 407 to win after Australia declared their second innings at tea Sunday on 312 for six.

No team has ever bettered 288 to clinch victory in the fourth innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with Australia achieving that mark against South Africa in 2006.

Australia accounted for openers Shubman Gill (31) and Rohit Sharma (52) before stumps on day four, and when Lyon got captain Ajinkya Rahane in Monday’s second over without adding to his overnight four the end appeared nigh.

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But Pant, who took a nasty blow to his elbow while batting in the first innings and didn’t keep wicket on Sunday, surprisingly came in at number five ahead of Vihari and produced some fireworks.

He had no strapping on the hurt elbow and, after settling in and surviving a missed catch by Tim Paine on three, began to hit out, smacking a four and a six off Lyon on consecutive balls.

Batting more like it was a Twenty20 match, he then clobbered two more sixes in a row off Lyon before bringing up his third Test 50 off just 64 balls.

Paine dropped him again on 56, both times off Lyon. He kept the scoreboard ticking over after lunch and a third Test century looked imminent only for the 23-year-old to throw his bat one time too many.

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His wicket shattered a 148-run partnership with Pujara, who resumed the day on nine and slowly reached a second consecutive 50. In the process he brought up 6,000 career runs, the 11th Indian to achieve the feat, before falling to Hazlewood.

Vihari hurt his hamstring on a quick single, adding to India’s injury list. India were bowled out for 244 in their first innings in reply to Australia’s 338.

The final Test of the series gets underway at the Gabba in Brisbane from January 15 onwards.

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