India vs Australia: Ashwin, Vihari blockathon helps India draw third Test

Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari pulled off a memorable draw for India in the third Test against Australia after Rishabh Pant scored a determined 97.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari scrapped their way for a 62-run stand in 42.4 overs after India stared at a possible defeat.   -  Getty Images

A resolute Ravichandran Ashwin and a hamstrung Hanuma Vihari battled pain and a hostile Australian bowling attack to snatch a remarkable draw for India after Rishabh Pant raised visions of an improbable win here on Monday.

Chasing a massive target of 407, Pant (97 off 118 balls) and Cheteshwar Pujara (77 off 205 balls) produced a partnership of 148 runs before India was forced to down the shutters finishing on 334 for 5 in 131 overs when players shook hands. The series stands at 1-1 going into the fourth Test in Brisbane.

Ashwin (39 not out off 128 balls) and Vihari (23 nout out off 161 balls) scrapped their way for a 62-run stand in 42.4 overs after India stared at a possible defeat.

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Pat Cummins (1-72), Josh Hazlewood (2-39), Mitchell Starc (0-66) and Nathan Lyon (2-114) threw everything they had, peppering them with short balls, hitting the patches with a few jumping from the spot.

Vihari hobbled with a torn hamstring but defended dourly, Ashwin got hit on the ribs but carried on while also engaging in some chatter with Tim Paine and close-in fielders.

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Pant, who faced criticism for his recent performances, played an entertaining knock in which he scored 12 fours and three sixes off 118 balls. He defended for the first 35 odd balls and then broke free hitting Lyon for a six and three fours.

Lyon had the last laugh when Pant's desperation to get to the three-figure mark before the second new ball saw him try to hit the spinner against the turn.

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Hazlewood then knocked off Pujara's off stump in the 89th over, as India was reeling at 273/5.

Once he was gone, Vihari, with a pulled hamstring and Ashwin, had no option but to go for a draw and they did it with a commendable effort.

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