Sports

Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb help Australia draw third Test against India

Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb help Australia draw third Test against India

The third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy ended in a draw as Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh led the rescue act after Australia loosing the wickets of Matt Renshaw and Steve Smith in the first session of the fifth day.

Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh collaborated for nearly four hours to frustrate the hosts with a dour fifth wicket stand of 124 runs.

The Australians were swept 4-0 on their previous tour to India, but Smith's squad has shown they're up for the contest.

"There's always a bit of tension when you're playing Australia-India in test matches", he said.

"If there's anything called momentum in cricket, it's with our side at this moment", Smith told reporters after the match. India coming today (Monday) would have expected to bowl us out.

Coach Darren Lehmann backed his charges to salvage a draw, which would keep the series level at 1-1 heading to the Dharamsala decider.

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Jadeja, who bagged a five-wicket haul in the first innings, picked up four in the second and gave away just 54 runs, having bowled 44 overs in total. Although Ravichandran Ashwin finally claimed a wicket, dismissing Glenn Maxwell, it was too little, too late.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade (9*) was batting alongside Handscomb when the day concluded with Australia at 204/6. I am very proud of the way the boys stuck it out.

Marsh and Handscomb both survived leg-before appeals but were otherwise untroubled as they shunned risks and punished the loose balls.

The visitors appeared destined for a morale-sapping defeat when Steve Smith's off stump was sent cartwheeling before lunch but the maligned Shaun Marsh and newcomer Peter Handscomb saved the day.

India, however, will also have tremendous belief in their camp after recovering from a tricky position to get themselves to the point where they were hot favourites to win the game. "I am really proud", he said.

Dhoni might have retired from the longest game, and given up captaincy from the other two formats, but his popularity hardly seems to have taken a hit.

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But it was Smith's wicket that brought a raucous home crowd to its feet after a quiet first hour of play.

Renshaw used his height and big stride on the front foot defence in his efforts to nullify Jadeja's spin even as the left-arm spinner tried to utilise the rough just outside the left-hander's off-stump.

"Jadeja's bowling was outstanding".

Kohli said that his team got itself into a very good position where they could have enforced a victory.

But it was Cheteshwar Pujara (202) and Wriddhiman Saha (117) who were the main stars of the match for India after their 199-run seventh-wicket stand on Sunday.

"It was a pretty nice wicket so it was important to score big first innings".

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