In a show of determination and patience, Team India forced Australia to settle with a draw thanks to Vihari and Ashwin’s batting.
In a comeback that will be remembered for ages, Ashwin and Vihari became the architects in the Indian team’s solid defence and finished the job with absolute grit and perseverance. To survive through the last session Ashwin faced a total of 128 bowls and Vihari faced 161 bowls. Indian team’s defence today can be considered the greatest birthday gift for India’s wall Rahul Dravid who turns 48 today.
The fifth day of the third test against Australia saw the first blow to India’s batting attack with skipper Rahane getting out. Rahane fell for only 4 runs. After his dismissal, Pujara and Pant summoned all their might and set up a stage for India’s comeback. Both the batsmen fell before they could complete their centuries. While Pujara scored 77 runs before losing his wicket, Pant fell for 97 runs.
It all seemed gloom and doom for the Indian team with an improbable target in sight while having only 5 wickets remaining. But showing patience and grit, Ashwin and Vihari glued themselves to the crease. The middle-order batsmen faced fast-paced deliveries and sledging from the Australian camp but never yielded. During the entire course of the fifth day, fans of cricket rejoiced as they saw The Great Indian Fight with Ashwin and Vihari finishing their jobs.
Over the course of the game, Australians grew visibly flustered due to the strong defence Indian batsmen showed. To the dismay of fans of both teams, Indian batsmen took a number of throws on bodies aimed by the Aussie fielders.
But Indian batsmen’s determination never died. Vihari and Ashwin came out unbeaten with their 62-run partnership off a ridiculous 269 balls. The two batsmen faced the Aussie bowling attack for more than three and a half hours. The men in blue faced more than 125 overs in the fourth innings. It is the most number of overs India had to face in their fourth innings of a Test away from India since 1980.
To their credit, the Australian bowling attack threw everything they could but failed to break the Indian defence. To add to the Australian bowlers’ troubles there were plenty of catches dropped during the fourth inning. Tim Paine dropped three catches while Abbott dropped Ashwin’s catch early in his innings.