Australia showed great resilience in the final day of the third Test against India in Ranchi, to escape with a well-deserved draw. Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh showed great character and impeccable technique to escape with a draw to ensure that the final Test of the series in Dharamsala will be a decider and a riveting contest, with the series tied at 1-1.
Indian captain Virat Kohli must have surely been one frustrated man after his bowlers were unable to finish the job after picking some early wickets in the Australian second innings.
Kohli expressing his disappointment with the result, said at the post-match presentation, “We got ourselves into a very good position. Losing the toss here was never easy. Not being able to take the field and watching the opposition get big runs was difficult. But we batted beautifully.”
Kohli also praised the efforts of the Indian batting order. “KL and M Vijay, but the partnership between Saha and Pujara is the best I have seen. We didn’t expect a 150 lead.”
Kohli also praised the ability of the opposition. “Yesterday two wickets, we thought we had a good chance, but credit to the two batsmen, they batted really well. Guys want to push the barrier, their physical limits, their mental toughness. Credit to Australia for playing out the draw, but we played ourselves into a position where we could win. When you play only one format, you are always extra determined to make it count.”
Kohli also reserved special praise for Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha. “Pujara is very motivated, and he is really good at test battimg. This is the best I have watched him bat. Saha did it in West Indies, he did it in Calcutta as well, and here under pressure, he really stood up. You feel happy for him because he is such a wonderful guy. Always smiling, always happy for whoever achieves anything.”
Kohli refused to blame the flat pitch for the drawn result. “I don’t think it was the wicket, it was the ball, soft, not doing much. I don’t know about the lot of balls.”
Kohli praising the efforts of Ravindra Jadeja, further added, “Jadeja is unbelievable. He is gun in the field too. I have never seen anyone bowl so economically for so long ever.”
Concluding things, Kohli expressed hope that his team would be able to win the series in the final match at Dharamsala. “Dharamsala, no different from what I have done here. We have given our best here, and as long as we keep doing that, I am sure we will get ourselves into winning positions.”