India managed to draw the third Test at the SCG after a surreal batting performance from the lower middle order. Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin stitched a memorable partnership of 62 off 259 balls to save the game for the tourists. What made this partnership special was the resilience and guts shown by the batsmen. Despite being injured, Vihari batted for well above three hours. On the other hand, Ashwin coped body blows as he played out a fiery spell of fast bowling early on.
While the duo of Vihari and Ashwin saw the side over the line with their defiance, it was the middle order which set the stage for this historic result. After losing captain Ajinkya Rahane early in the day, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant forged a century stand to pull India back into the game. Pant played an aggressive, counterattacking knock of 97 while Pujara contributed 77 off 205 balls.
Tim Paine’s unsuccessful attempt to get under Ashwin’s skin
As the match gradually slipped out of Australia’s hands, the hosts resorted their age-old way of sledging to unsettle the batsmen. In a bid to break Ashwin’s concentration, Australia captain Tim Paine started to chirp behind the stumps in the middle of a Nathan Lyon over. Paine said, “Can’t wait to get you to the Gabba, Ash.”
Ashwin was not one to back off a fight having come this far into the game with his defiance. The crafty off-spinner gave it back with ferocity. Ashwin replied, “Can’t wait to get you to India, it’ll be your last series.”
Paine was rattled with the quick reply and took to a bit of abusing, taking a sly dig at Ashwin. “At least my teammates like me, d⋆⋆⋆⋆ead,” the Australian captain stated.
The entire incident was recorded on camera and the social media erupted with applause for Ashwin who stood his ground despite being in a tough spot in the game. In the meantime, England quick Stuart Broad took to Twitter to slam Paine for his choice of words. Broad asserts that the Australia captain should be held responsible according to the laws of the game. Paine was fined yesterday for swearing and arguing with the umpire after a DRS call went wrong for the Aussies.
“This is all a part of the game. The Test match battle but Painey won’t get away with that Language with the Laws above,” Broad tweeted.
With the series leveled , both team clash at the Gabba from January 15 for what is set to be a cracker of a series finale.