Marsh, Handscomb stifle India's advantage with gritty batting

Murali Vijay was very cautious scoring unbeaten 42 in his 50th Test cricket at stumps on Day 2

Murali Vijay was very cautious scoring unbeaten 42 in his 50th Test cricket at stumps on Day 2

It was a tough task at hand for Australia, but the visitor managed to earn a draw on the final day of the third Test against India in Ranchi.

India would be tad disappointed with the outcome, since they did a lot of hard work to get into a winning position after Australia had seized advantage early on, posting 451 in their first innings.

For India, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers with figures of four for 54 while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma also chipped in with a wicket each in the second innings.

# Murali Vijay hits a brilliant half-century. "I played in a positive sense so it came out well".

"Pujara was rock solid, hopefully he can put up a great show for us tomorrow". It was a monumental effort by Steve Smith and his team as they survived day five on a pitch which offered considerable assistance to the bowlers. Trying to pad the delivery without reaching for it, he didn't offer a shot, and Jadeja had the off-stump uprooted leaving Marsh and Handscomb to do the rescue job. Rahul and Vijay constructed a 91-run opening partnership before Pat Cummins unsettled Rahul into gloving a catch to wicketkeeper Wade.

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By the time Marsh fell, becoming Jadeja's fourth victim of the innings, the match was effectively over. "Hats off to selectors to go with him". Steve O'Keefe wheeled away for 77 overs, the most by an Australian since Jimmy Higgs at Sydney in 1979 - so long ago that Border was playing his second Test match.

However, Handscomb and Marsh absorbed the pressure with their calculated knocks to deny the hosts, who apart from the sizeable crowd, were also cheered on by former captain and local favourite Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The star batsman had injured his right shoulder after an awkward fall while fielding during Australia's innings on Thursday and stayed off the field for 400 minutes before taking crease.

That the series is locked at 1-1 with one to play is a feather in the caps of the Australians, whom many believed were staring at another humiliating whitewash in India.

"It was crucial for us at a really important time in the game". He finally hit a boundary to the covers to get his 11th century and the first by his team in this series.

Given absolutely no chance, with many predicting a 4-0 whitewash in India's favour, Australia won the Pune Test, before giving India a really hard match in Bengaluru and then pulling off a stunning draw in Ranchi.

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