Australia bounced back to overcome 152-run deficit and further forced a draw in the third Test of the four-match Border-Gavaskar series against India on Monday at Ranchi.
The final day of the third Test has witnessed brilliant resilience from the visitors with the bat, good spell of overs from the hosts, fumbles from the fielders, gingerly pushes from the batsmen, reviews being turned down and stumbling of bowlers in the follow through before Virat Kohli and his counterpart Steven Smith shook hands.
Australia was 204 for the loss of six wicket in 100 overs as Peter Handscomb was batting on 72 off 200 balls and wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade remained unbeaten on 9 off 16 balls.
After Matt Renshaw and visitors’ skipper Steve Smith were dismissed in the successive overs, Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh shouldered the responsibility to recover Australian innings when they were reeling at 63 for four.
The visitors had shown character during session after another which further proved they had learned the lesson quite well and has equally did their homework particularly against the prime spin attack after the dramatic collapse in Bengaluru during the second Test.
However, Marsh was sent back by the left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja in 92nd over when he gave a simple catch to Murali Vijay at short leg. Marsh faced 197 balls for his stubborn 53 runs.
The duo in the form of Marsh and Handscomb had put on significant 124 runs for the fifth wicket.
The right-handed Glenn Maxwell was sent back to pavilion by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the 95th over when he was caught by Vijay on 2 off 15 balls.
Australian left and right handed batting combination Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb have shown courage while holding their feet to follow the template and example set by solid as a rock Cheteshwar Pujara (202), who faced marathon of deliveries to notch the double hundred during the first innings of India – to put visitors on the backfoot alongside wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha (117), who scored a brilliant triple figure mark.
The left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who bowled 17 maidens, was the pick of the bowlers for India as he sent down 44 overs to concede just 54 runs for his four wickets.
In 84th over, with the new set of reviews available, Kohli went upstairs and lost the review when Ravichandran Ashwin’s ball struck Marsh on front leg as the replays suggested ball was hitting the leg stump and the decision was upheld.
After starting from their overnight score for 23 for two, Australian batsman faced an uphill task on the final day as they were trailing by 129 runs when India declared on 603 for nine on day 3 after Australia put 451 on board in their first innings.
Soon after the team, bowlers looked rejuvenated as in 70th over, Kohli & Co. appealed for stumping but Marsh, who was beaten on flight, was well back into the crease before Saha dislodged the bails.
In 71st over, India lost the review when third umpire upheld Ian Gould’s decision after Umesh Yadav’s delivery hit Handscomb’s pad well above his knee roll.
At tea Australia posted 149 for four on board in 69 overs as they were trailing by just three runs at that moment.
Interestingly, Indian skipper Virat Kohli apologizes to his teammates, in 47th over when he went upstairs for the LBW review as TV replay suggested the ball pitched outside leg before brushing the pad of Shaun Marsh.
In the 40th over, Karun Nair put down a difficult chance of Peter Handscomb at short leg region when the ball popped out from his hand.
Earlier, India applied pressure while claiming two crucial wickets, but somehow failed to capitalize on it in the second session.
Renshaw alongside Smith saw-off first 21 overs in the morning session of final day, the left-handed batsman was trapped in front of the stumps by lanky fast bowler Ishant Sharma. Renshaw faced 84 balls for his 15 runs.
In the very next over, Smith paid the massive price by leaving the ball of left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. He was bowled on 21 off 68 balls.
Australia 1st Innings 451 all out
India 1st innings 603 for 9 declared
Australia 2nd innings 204 for six in 100 overs
Peter Handscomb 72* off 200 balls
Ravindra Jadeja 4 for 54 in 44 overs