Ahead of the Day 5 of the third Test in Sydney, Australia had the upper hand after picking up three wickets in the second innings fo Team India. For the visiting team, survival seemed to be the road forward on the fifth day with a massive 309 runs ahead of them. But with the odds against them, Ajinkya Rahane and his men managed to end the game on a positive note and made the hosts sweat for every other wicket.
In the end, India managed to churn out a draw and kept the series leveled at 1-1. Though their numbers at The Gabba in Brisbane aren’t the best, India would be hopeful of turning their fortunes around with another spirited approach. On the last day’s play, the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground was looking more in favor of the batsmen and all Australia could pick up was a mere two wickets.
The story of the Indian batting had two parts. Even as Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, and Ravi Ashwin ‘bored’ the Australianbwolers with their gritty knocks, Rishabh Pant came out all guns blazing. Pant played a flashy knock of 97 runs in just 117 runs before he perished to Nathan Lyon. Pant’s onslaught, which was laced with 12 fours and three sixes, almost gave India hopes of winning the game.
Pant’s attacking instinct rubbed off positively on Pujara as the latter, once, hit Pat Cummins for three fours in a row. But when Pujaraeventually perished for a 205-ball 75, the pendulum swung in Australia’s favor. With Ravindra Jadeja injured, the onus was on Ashwin and Vihari to put their heads down and take India to the draw. One more wicket would have exposed India’s fragile tail.
From there on, Vihari and Ashwin denied the Aussies even a single wicket for the next 30 overs or so. Vihari was struggling with an injury, but he carried on batting and managed to remain unbeaten on 23 off 160 balls. Ashwin’s batting has gone downhill after the rise of Ravindra Jadeja- the batsman.
However, Vihari showed a great amount of patience and notched an unbeaten 39 runs off 128 balls with seven fours. With one over left, and the Aussies needing five wickets, the teams decide to call it a draw, realizing that a result wasn’t in the offing. Vihari and Ashwin were beaming with pride at the end of the game.
Here is how Twitterati reacted to the memorable win by the Indian team:
An incredible battle in Sydney has helped both teams retain the top two spots in the ICC World Test Championship standings.
— ICC (@ICC) January 11, 2021
Really proud of #TeamIndia!
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 11, 2021
What a test…India have shown remarkable resilience and fight to keep the series very much alive! #AUSvIND
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) January 11, 2021
Great fightback by #TeamIndia! Special effort out there and the team showed amazing physical and mental strength.
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) January 11, 2021
Pic1 – Till Rishabh Pant was at the crease.
Pic2- Pujara, Vihari and Ashwin.
And the combination of these 2 made it a fantastic Test Match. Feel so so proud of the Team,
Pant showed why he needs to b treated differently & d grit showed by Vihari, Pujara & Ashwin was unbelievable pic.twitter.com/aU3qN6O3JF
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 11, 2021
Tell me you don’t love test cricket 😍 #AUSvsIND
— Mayanti Langer Binny (@MayantiLanger_B) January 11, 2021
Been asking @ashwinravi99 about his batting for a while. Against an excellent bowling attack, showed his class today.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 11, 2021
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) January 11, 2021
Broken thumb, bruised elbow, torn hamstring, body blows – yet this amazing fight back! India has seen many victories overseas but this DRAW will never be forgotten @RishabhPant17 @imjadeja @ashwinravi99 @Hanumavihari @cheteshwar1 @ajinkyarahane88 @ImRo45 @RealShubmanGill #INDvAUS
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) January 11, 2021
— Sunandan Lele (@sunandanlele) January 11, 2021
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 11, 2021
Think India will be the team that will be taking confidence from this into the next one,great fight by Ashwin and Vihari in the end,played out nearly 300 balls to draw the test. #AUSvIND
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) January 11, 2021
Sometimes saving a test is as good as winning, hence the name "Test"!Overall a class effort from @BCCI , all the boys showed great character and even after facing multiple injuries to come back strong and save the test says a lot about this team! #AUSvIND
— Kris Srikkanth (@KrisSrikkanth) January 11, 2021
One for the ages ! Absolutely buzzing with this draw !! I’m guessing this is how a lot of our fans must have felt in the 60s ,70s , 80s when we weren’t the best team in the world and a draw seemed like a win . This draw gave the same joy as a win ! #BorderGavaskarTrophy #INDvAUS
— Rohan Gavaskar (@rohangava9) January 11, 2021
— Deep Dasgupta (@DeepDasgupta7) January 11, 2021