Monday saw some exciting cricketing action unfold on the Sydney Cricket Ground, where Team India successfully defended their fortress against the Aussies in their backyard, drawing the match after a long drawn day 5 struggle.
Many cricket purists and fans of Test match cricket loved how the game unfolded. The way the Indian team came out of troubled waters and the mannerism the players of the team displayed coming in to save their team even after they were in a weak spot, impressed everyone and they had a mouthful of praise for the players of the Indian team.
The match started with the home team, Australia winning the toss and putting the Indian bowlers for the toil. And, what a start they got. Marked by a century by their ace batsman, Steve Smith, and a great amount of support from Marnus Labuschagne, who scored 91 runs, the Aussies got to a total of 338 runs before losing their set of 10 wickets. The Indian team’s bowling attack in this inning was led by Ravindra Jadeja who, later missed out on action due to an injury, but made sure that in this particular inning, he took 4 wickets.
When the Indian batsmen go on to bat, the attack got off to a solid start with the newcomer, Shubman Gill put on a solid 70 run partnership, before Sharma’s wicket fell. It was not long before Shubaman also lost his wicket and Cheteshwar Pujara and the team’s captain Ajinkya Rahane were on the crease with the responsibility to stable the team’s ride. Rahane fell early but Pujara continued to bat on and on and on. He stitched partnerships with the batsmen who came in and made sure that his team was on a relatively good spot before he commenced the walk to the pavilion.
For the Aussies in this inning, it was Pat Cummins who had the best numbers to his name. It was his bowling along with inputs from Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc that got the Australians 94 runs as they got into their 2nd inning. But, the Indian team’s troubles were not only this deficit of runs that they had to cover for. Two of their premier players had been injured, namely, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja who had to sit in the pavilion due to injuries and the team was playing with a semi-fit squad with no positives coming their way as of now.
Australia continued attacking India
The Australians in their second inning continued the offensive on the Indians, as they piled on as many as 312 runs for the Indian team to chase as the match progressed into the final stages. With the bat in hand, joining Steve Smith and Labuschagne in this inning was Chris Green who also crossed the 50 run mark.
At this point in time, anyone could have been forgiven to have placed their bets on Australia winning this game. With a big total to chase going into the last stages of the game, and an Australian bowling attack full of energy, waiting for the Indian batsmen to prey upon, the start of the Indian team was really better than expected. Rohit hit his 1st 50 of this tour and Shubman complimented it with a 31 run knock. But, it was not long before these two players were in the pavilion and India had their hopes pinned on Rahane and Pujara who had to come on to the crease and bat overnight as the match got into the 5th day.
Early into the day, Rahane fell and Pujara welcomed Rishabh Pant, who had been suffering from an injury issue came on to the field to bat. And, bat for the Indian team he did, in the best possible way. The left-hander got 97 runs as Pujara continued to support him on the other end. Everything seemed to be going well on the final day, but India lost two quick and important wickets in a matter of an hour in the form of Pujara and Pant, as the worries kicked in for the fans again.
But, the Indian batsmen on the crease Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma VIhari put on a show of batting which many teams would envy seeing as they battled through the course of the day and helped the Indian team script history by ensuring that the match ended in a draw. Vihari and Ashwin collectively faced close to 300 deliveries, as the teams shook the hand, and everyone was praising the Indian team for fighting so well and hard. This match, though ending in a draw showed the world what the true essence of Test cricket is, where sometimes even a draw is as good as a defeat.