Australia force draw in third test against India

But Australia's fifth-wicket pair held sway.

Handscomb also showcased expertise against the turning ball during his unbeaten 72 from 200 balls.

Ranchi: Sometimes even a draw could give a team the feeling of victory and the Australians experienced exactly the same emotions as they hung in to survive a stern test on the fifth and final day of the third Test against India at Ranchi to force a morale boosting draw. "If he bowled two more he was going to throw the ball off and get himself a new one from one end".

Pujara scored 202, spent over 11 hours at the crease and faced a record-breaking 525 deliveries. But the reason why India batted so slowly in their batting innings had more to do with the Australia bowling.

Ravindra Jadeja then picked up the wickets David Warner and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon late in the day, to leave the Aussies on 2-23 at stumps, still trailing by 129 runs.

He said: "Pat Cummins, in his first game in a very long time, he bowled beautifully".

Matt Renshaw will restart on seven not out, with captain Steve Smith due to join him.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha's marathon effort had given India a 152-run lead on Sunday evening and Jadeja's twin strikes meant Australia went into stumps at 23/2.

Australia finished off the days play at 204 runs for the loss of six wickets.

Starting the day on 120 for one, the home side made comfortable progress through the morning session, but were fortunate not to lose two quick wickets shortly after the drinks break. Both the pacers not only made the Indian squad unstable but also slowed down Pujara considerably. And now it was Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade's turn but he failed miserably.

"It was very important for Virat Kohli to be on the field". Whereas O'Keefe has kept one end tied up, the fast bowlers, Cummins and Hazlewood are plying their trade from the other end.

Australia have passed a searching examination of their mettle by overcoming India's spin masters on Ranchi's so-called craters of doom to secure a backs-to-the-wall draw in the third Test.

Steve Smith's unbeaten 178 and a maiden Test century for Glenn Maxwell boosted Australia to a competitive total but India responded well in Ranchi. Opener KL Rahul contributed with solid 67 runs before being caught on the bowling of Cummins.

2008 The previous time an overseas team saved a Test after facing deficit of 150-plus runs in the first innings in India - England in Mohali, after India led by 151.

The big question is, of course, if India captain Virat Kohli will bat and where he will bat, having injured his right shoulder while fielding on Thursday.

  • Julie Sanders