A superb 124-run fifth-wicket partnership between Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb ensured that Australia held on for a draw in the 3rd Test against India. Virat Kohli’s men failed to drive home the advantage they got in the initial stages of the Australian innings and were found way short when it came to running through the visitors’ middle-order. Australia were 204/6 when the match was called off, with Handscomb undefeated on 72 while Marsh scored 53. With this draw, the series is still tied at 1-1, with one Test to go, at Dharamsala from March 25.
After Steve Smith’s men fought hard to successfully keep the Indian bowlers at bay, former Australia cricketers indulged in some mind games. While most of them lauded their side’s effort to save the match, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Warne tried to put the hosts under pressure.
Smith too felt that Australia’s showing in Ranchi means the momentum will be with the visitors going into the series deciding final Test in Dharamsala. “If there’s anything called momentum in cricket it’s probably with us at the moment. India coming today would have expected to bowl us out. I’m sure they’re hurting a little bit,” he said at the post-match press conference.
With the series level at 1-1, the Dharamsala Test becomes a virtual final. India would have to win there to snatch back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, while all Australia would need is a draw, since they are the holders.