Not out batsman India's Ravichandran Ashwin (right) and Hanuma Vihari walk from the field following play on the final day of the third cricket Test between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia on January 11, 2021. (Image: AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
The Indian cricket team fought back against Australia to draw the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on January 11, keeping the four-match Border-Gavaskar series alive.
Australia and India remain locked at 1-1 after three Tests, having won the first and the second match, respectively.
The fourth and final Test match of the series – now a decider – will be played at The Gabba, Brisbane starting from January 15.
Click here for more Cricket news and here for the full 3rd Test scorecard and commentary
A contest to remember
Chasing 407 in Sydney, India’s batting in the second inning was supported by two crucial partnerships: Chetestwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant, and Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin. Pant got out for 97, missing out on what would have been his third Test ton. Pujara scored 77.
Despite multiple players suffering injuries, including Vihar who had great difficulty in taking singles, India managed to bat more than 100 overs in the fourth inning of the Test – the most since 1979.
Ashwin (39 not-out in 128 balls) and a hamstrung Vihari (23 not-out in 161 balls) battled a sharp Australian bowling attack to help India clinch a historic draw.
Powered by Steven Smith’s century and a 91 from Marcus Labuschagne, Australia had scored 338 runs in the rain-affected first inning. This came despite Ravindra Jadeja picking up four wickets for India. The hosts managed to bowl out India for 244 courtesy Pat Cummins taking four wickets.
Smith, Labuschagne, and Cameron Green’s strong batting display helped the Aussies post 312/6 when they declared their second inning.
A match marred by racial abuse
The match was marred by Indian players – especially Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah – facing racial abuse from some spectators of the iconic SCG. The play was briefly disrupted on the third day after the visiting side complained of abuse from the crowd. A day earlier, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had already lodged a complaint with the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Cricket Australia, on its part, condemned the incidents of racial abuse and said that spectators “are not welcome in Australian cricket” if they engage in racist abuse. The Australian cricket board also apologized to “our friends in the Indian cricket team and assure them we will prosecute the matter to its fullest extent”. Cricket Australia has said it is investigating the incident and will submit a report.