Cricket is like a religion in #india. The game, a gift of the Raj, has captured the minds Indian masses. The ongoing Aussie-India #Test series has generated tremendous interest. It was assumed that the Australians would suffer a washout and lose all four tests, but it has not happened that way. The Aussies won the first test and lost the second. In the third, played at Ranchi the Aussies fought resolutely to draw the match.
The test was the first the Australians had saved in India since 2011. The Indians were all over on the last day but the spinners failed to deliver.
Australia post 451
The highlight of the visitor's first innings was a fighting 178 not out by Steve Smith the captain. He negotiated the spinners with confidence and became the third fastest to 5000 runs in terms of innings after Don Bradman and Sunil Gavaskar. A total of 451 looked impressive but the Indians used to such conditions wore down the attack. They piled up 603 for 9 before Kohli declared. Pujara a batsman with a strong defense batted with grit for a double century. The wicket was slow and the ball turned slowly giving plenty of time to a batsman to adjust his play. None of the Australian bowlers had a measure of the wicket as India built up a commanding lead of 152.
The test could now go only two ways - either defeat for #Australia or a draw. It was expected that on the 5th day with the wear and tear of the wicket the Indian spinners Ashwin and Jadeja would call the shots.
Things seemed to be looking up when the Indian's claimed four wickets before lunch. But the post-lunch play saw some gritty batting and Marsh led the way. The Aussies batted on till the last session and the Indian could not break the batting. The match was drawn with Australia only 6 wickets down.
On to Dharamshala
Now it's on to the last test at Dharamshala a new test center in Himachal Pradesh. The Aussies can now go into the last test and hope they can win. It won't be easy. The talk of the match was the performance of the Indian skipper Virat Kohli who has now failed in 5 consecutive innings. Maybe it's time for a big score by him.