Australia proved they were no muppets with the bat on final day of the Ranchi Test, as they displayed a gutsy batting performance to keep their chances of retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy alive.

It was a nervy day filled with anticipation for both teams. Resuming at 23/2, the visitors were required to survive the entire Day 5 on the worsening Ranchi wicket.

After the culmination of the first session where the visitors lost two more wickets, the game tilted towards India and the only team which was on the verge of losing was Australia. The loss of Matt Renshaw and Steven Smith in quick succession was bothersome but fortunately, there were two other men firmly determined to take their team home – Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh.

The duo showed a great deal of intent and played out 62.1 overs between themselves to effectively thwart the Indians. Both Handscomb and Marsh added 124 runs for the fifth wicket and frustrated the Indian spin pair of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to a great extent.

Their gigantic effort tired the Indian bowlers and by the time the final hour of the last session arrived, all the hosts players had their shoulders dropped low, showing clear signs of hopelessness and that they just wanted the game to end. Handscomb and Marsh came in at 63/4 and by the time the stand was broken with the wicket of Marsh, Australia had 187/4 in 91 overs.


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