Carrying the scrimmage and the drama to Ranchi, the third test fitted in the current ‘heat’ and the tussle between India and Australia for the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Defined by grit, the third test out of the four was a ‘test’ in the truest sense of the word. Both teams fought and fought at the right time to produce a draw to keep the series levelled at 1-1.
Australian captain Steven Smith (178) put winning the toss to a good use as he scored another big century against his favourite Indian side. The captain was supported by Glenn Maxwell (104) who scored his maiden and sturdy century. The Aussies were eventually restricted to 451 by Jadeja’s 5/124.
The Indian team came to bat with a watchful and slow run scoring by Rahul (67) and Vijay (82). The hosts were on the back-foot in the face of Cummin’s fast bowling when Kohli lost his wicket. However, that was the start of one of the greatest ever partnership by any young players.
Pujara (202) and Saha (117) drained out the visitors by first blocking and then attacking them, leading India to a comfortable 150-odd run lead as they declared at 603. Pujara secured the record for facing the most number of deliveries, 525, by an Indian player in the process.
Everyone expected the Kangaroos to yield after Jadeja took Warner and Lyon’s wicket at the end of Day 4. The hopes were lit up more as Jadeja took the crucial wicket of Smith for just 21 runs, making way for a batting-collapse. However, it wasn’t to be; much like Pujara and Saha, Marsh (53) and Handscomb (72) frustrated the Indian team for the fifth wicket, with a partnership lasting 62.1 overs on Day 5 to secure a draw in the end.
C Pujara was adjudged man-of-the-match for his determinant double century.
The fourth and the final test starts in Dharamsala on March 25.