Ravichandran Ashwin and HanumaVihari battled pain and a hostile Australian bowling attack while resolutely displaying the largely extinct art of Test-saving batsmanship to snatch a remarkable draw for India after Rishabh Pant raised visions of an improbable win here on Monday.
Chasing a herculean target of 407, Pant (97 off 118 balls) and the ever-steady CheteshwarPujara (77 off 205 balls) produced an amazing 148-run stand before India were forced to down the shutters finishing on 334 for 5 in 131 overs when players shook hands.
The series stands at 1-1 going into the fourth Test in Brisbane but an Indian team which has turned into a ‘mini-hospital’ would be walking away with a lot of pride. They put up a proper fight in adverse circumstances already soured by racist chants and abuses from the crowd here during the course of the game.
Pant’s innings will be remembered for a long time but none can forget that Ashwin (39 no, 128 balls) and Vihari (23 off 161 balls), battling a hamstring injury, put their bodies on line to save a game which could have been lost in a jiffy after their two best batsmen were gone on the day.
Pat Cummins (26-6-72-1), Josh Hazlewood (26-12-39-2), Mitchell Starc (22-6-66-0) and Nathan Lyon (46-17-114-2) threw everything they had, peppering them with short balls, hitting the patches with a few jumping from the spot.