A memorable batting performance by team India enabled it to draw the third Test match against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). On the fifth day of the Test, India scored 334 runs for five wickets. At the beginning of Day 5, India was trailing by 309 runs and lost Ajinkya Rahane early on to a delivery by Nathan Lyon, managing to score only four runs. However, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant counterattacked the Aussie bowlers and saved the day. Pujara registered 77 runs off 205 balls, hitting 12 fours, while Rishabh Pant slammed 97 from 118 deliveries, which consisted of 12 fours and three sixes.

The duo’s contribution helped India to give the match a complete turnaround, as the odds didn’t seem to be in India’s favor at the beginning of the match. After Pujara and Pant fell and  India’s hopes were on the verge of getting dashed to the ground, Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin came to the rescue. They batted for more than three hours, despite the former suffering a serious hamstring injury, and pushed the match to a draw to keep the series tied at 1-1. Vihari scored 23 runs off 161 balls while veteran spinner Ashwin scored 39 runs off 128 balls to take India to a memorable draw. Josh Hazlewood of Australia registered two dismissals and Nathan Lyon too took two wickets. The four-match Test series is currently level at 1-1. The final match is set to begin in Brisbane from January 15.

In related news, Australia captain Tim Paine issued an apology his misconduct on Day 5 of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Paine indulged in a banter with Ashwin, and at one point even called him a “d****h****”. “I want to apologize for the way I went about things, I’m someone who prides himself on the way he leads this team and yesterday was a poor reflection of that,” Paine told reporters.