A magical day of Test cricket | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 12, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:31 AM, January 12, 2021

A magical day of Test cricket

India pulled off one of the great Test cricket escapes, clinging on for a draw on the final day of the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

While their eventual finishing score looks routine – finishing five wickets down – it belies the incredible resistance shown by the Indian batsmen to keep the series tied at 1-1.

With three genuine tail-enders and an injured Ravindra Jadeja the only batsmen left, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari put together an epic unbeaten 258-ball partnership – scoring only 62 runs – to set up a series-deciding showdown in Brisbane.

When Paine decided no result could be achieved with one over of the mandated final hours' worth to bowl, the stalemate produced vastly different reactions from the rival camps.

India's players beamed and congratulated one another, and metaphorically embraced their two warriors (in socially distanced fashion) as they left the field, while Australia's players bore the look of exhausted frustration.

India captain Ajinkya Rahane said his team's draw in the third test against Australia felt like a victory.

"As good as winning a test match," Rahane, leading the side as regular skipper Virat Kohli is away on paternity leave, told reporters. "When you come abroad and play a match like this, it's special, it's as good as victory."

"Everyone has chipped in but credit to these two guys who batted over two-and-half hours till the end. We were actually counting down deliveries in the last five-six overs. We all were sure of Ashwin's ability as a batsman. Vihari has been batting really well throughout the series though he did not get any big score," he added.

"Our message during Tea was 'just hang in there, play one ball at a time, one over at a time. Let's not think too far ahead'," continued Rahane.

Australia captain Tim Paine said he felt he had let down his bowlers with his wicketkeeping as India batted through the final day of the third Test for a draw.

Paine thought Australia's pace unit and spinner Nathan Lyon had created enough chances to bowl out the tourists for a win and a 2-1 series lead if only the rest of the team had taken their catches.

"I'm bitterly disappointed, I pride myself on my wicketkeeping and I probably haven't had many worse days than that today. It's a horrible feeling knowing that our fast bowlers and our spinner bowled their hearts out and gave everything to the team," he told reporters.

"I certainly feel that I let them down and I've got to wear that. But I'm a big boy and I get another chance next week," he added.

Both teams fly on Tuesday to Brisbane, where the fourth, and potentially decisive, Test starts on Friday.

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