IND vs AUS Boxing Day Test Highlights: Match Drawn
Brief score: AUS 338 & 312/6 d (Green 84* Smith 81; Labushagne 73, Saini 2/54, Ashwin 2/95)
IND 244 & 334/5 (131) ( Pant 97, Pujara 77; Hazelwood 2/39, Lyon 2/114)
Ajinkaya Rahane led Team India finally saves the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar series played at SCG. The Great Indian fightback with Pant and Pujara being the chief architects in the initial stage laying the foundation for India. R Ashwin and injured Hanuma Vihari finishing the job with great grit and determination. Ashwin and Vihari give almost everything as the duo battled through the entire final session with India cope out a hard-fought draw. Bit of chatter and banter between Ashwin and Australian skipper Tim Paine but the duo are determined which resulted in a Draw. The visitors will be the happier side with this result and the scoreline remains 1-1.
Ashwin and Vihari both put a rock-solid stand unbeaten 62-run stand for the sixth wicket. It was a 'blockathon' which lasted 258 balls before both sides decided to shake hands for a draw. That's a fitting tribute to the birthday boy and the Great Wall of India, Rahul Dravid. Indian cricket team has come with a plan, with Pant they were looking to win, once he got out it was pure defense from Indian batsmen.
Former Australian captain Steve Smith named as 'Man of the Match' for his ruthless batting in both innings, scored 138 and 81 runs respectively in both innings that propelled the home team to post a mammoth total for the visitors.
Starting the day on 98/2, India scored over 100 runs in the morning session and in good time to keep Australia at bay. Rishabh Pant started slowly to find his feet but once he gets his eyes on the crease, switched gears and notched a blistering 97. He kept the scoreboard ticking with singles and clobbered boundaries in between.
Pant's aggression complimented equally by Cheteshwar Pujara, who looked calm and composed as the pair worked put 148-run stand for the 4th wicket, giving India an outside chance to push for a win if it comes down to that. Earlier, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill once again showcased their intent and the duo give India a solid start upfront in their second innings as well. Rohit scored 52 while Gill fell after scoring an eye-catching 31. Hazelwood and Lyon picked two wickets each.
Paine's men were favorites to go 2-1 up with a day to go after setting a target in excess of 400. Not many would have backed a draw, leave alone an India win at the start of the final day. And, when Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed in the second over, the Aussies would have fancied their chances to wrap it up quickly. But, the Indian batters have other ideas.
Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, and Cameroon Green all notched up their respective fifties that helped the hosts to post a big second innings total of 312/6 d. Young Cameroon Green played a scintillating knock of 84 off 132 with 8 fours and 4 sixes while Smith scored 81 and he was equally supported by Labushagne, who notched a glitzy half-ton. Saini and Ashwin picked a couple of wickets.
Earlier, Steve Smith became the first Australian to score a century in this series with a stellar knock of 131 in Sydney after failures in the first two Tests. Marnus Labushagne also notched a well-made 91. Debutant Will Pucovski also impressed with the bat and hits his maiden Test fifty after a couple of dropped chances. Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers for India, he took 4/62 and run-out centurion Steve Smith on a direct hit to keep Australia in check.