India fight to shut Australia with match draw at SCG
India battled in an overseas Test match like never before. The memories of the 2001 Test match between India and Australia at Eden Gardens freshened up as Australia were slammed at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Yes, Rishabh Pant (97 of 118), Cheteshwar Pujara (77 of 205), Hanuma Vihari (23 of 161), and Ravichandran Ashwin (39 of 128) combined to face 612 balls or 102 overs in the 2nd innings to script an iconic draw at SCG and devoid Australia a chance to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
After the end of Day 4, India was written off, in a manner very similar after the Adelaide Test. India also did not deviate from the set chronology and proved everyone wrong again by bouncing back and scripting a famous draw Down Under.
Chasing a target of 407 runs, India finished the match on 334/5 and left Australians with not much to say. That also was as big as the draw because the home captain hardly allowed his lips to meet on Monday. All his attempt to get into the thick skins of India batters went in vain and by the end of the match, nothing much was left for him as well, he dropped a catch in the final moments. Prior to the dropped opportunity (or maybe the series) he had a lengthy banter with Ashwin.
'India needs 309 runs with 8 wickets in hand' -- This summation on a flat Day 5 wicket of Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will not bother a strong Indian batting unit but what when Virat Kohli is missing from the eleven and two of their main batters are bruised significantly in the match.