Australia hold out for draw in third India Test

The skipper was full of praise for Cheteshwar Pujara who was handed the man of the match award for his huge double ton in India's first and only innings while he also gave kudos to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha who is proving to be a valuable asset with the bat.

When Smith was bewilderingly bowled by Ravindra Jadeja's guile before lunch - hot on the heels of losing redoubtable opener Matthew Renshaw - it appeared Australia, spluttering at 63 for 4, would spiral to an innings defeat ending their dreams of memorably winning the series.

The India captain wa not pleased with the quality of the balls used in this Test feeling that they got soft far too quickly making things easier for the batsmen.

Cheteshwar Pujara (202) and Wriddhiman Saha (117) were the main stars of the match for India with a 199-run seventh-wicket stand on Sunday, while Smith himself scored an imperious unbeaten 178 in Australia's first innings.

Australia were comprehensively outplayed in the second half of the match but displayed a level of resilience seldom seen by the men in baggy green in this part of the world.

Smith said his team was looking forward to Dharamsala. Yes, he got six wickets in Bengaluru, but as the bowler himself said, that was more about pressure than him bowling unbelievably good deliveries.

"There's going to be a second innings, so if they can take it that way, it would be great". From there to make 600 was a very hard task. Not being able to take the field and watching the opposition get big runs was hard. India coming today (Monday) would have expected to bowl us out. Everyone has his point of view. We didn't need to bat in the second innings. "There is still one match to go, both [teams] will give it their best".

For that they can thank Marsh and Handscomb, two men at opposite ends of their global careers but still proving their worth at the highest level.

"They batted very well", Kohli said.

"It's tough to lose those two wickets tonight".

"Jadeja's bowling was outstanding".

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. The slow run rate continued as Pujara took the charge on the other side. The Australian camp would be very proud of the way these two have fought back and would want them to continue doing so even in the final session.

Marsh was dismissed for 53 but Handscomb, who made an unbeaten 72, stayed put to guide Australia to a remarkable draw. This season he has been outstanding.

"I didn't expect the game to go five days, certainly before a ball was bowled it didn't look like it would hold together at all", the Australian skipper said. Batting out time was key to forcing a draw here and they did exactly that by consuming 232 minutes.

Saha, Kohli said, was similarly underappreciated.



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