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 Australia’s attack in a partnership over the last three hours of the match that kept alive India’s hopes of a second successive series triumph Down Under.
The sixth-wicket stand was worth only 62 runs but more in terms of morale for a squad that has endured quarantine, racial abuse from fans and a catalogue of injuries.
India skipper Ajinkya Rahane says: “Our talk this morning was all about showing character, fight till the end and not thinking of the result.
“A special mention to Vihari and Ashwin, the way they batted and showed their character. Looking forward to Brisbane now.”
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 at Sydney Cricket Ground that did not deteriorate as much as they had hoped.
India finished on 334/5, 73 runs short of the victory target of 407 that Australia had handed them after declaring on 312/6 at tea on Sunday.
Australia captain Tim Paine adds: “We certainly created chances to win the game. Just did not hold our catches, myself in particular.
“We have to cop the blame.