The third Test match between Australia and India will surely go down as one of the best Test matches of this year. There was intense competition and plenty of on-field stuff that made the game ever so entertaining and thrilling at the same time.
Overall, the duel between the two heavyweights has been captivating to say the least. In fact, there is hardly anything to pick between the two teams and the 1-1 scoreline confirms the same. Both teams literally gave everything to come out on top.
While Aussies were the clear-cut favourites to win the match especially after they set up a mammoth target of 407, Team India surprised the cricket fraternity by defying all the odds to stand firm against the Aussie bowling attack.
Rishabh Pant who is generally known for his attacking style of play, stuck to his natural game and kept on counter-attacking the Aussie bowlers with ease. The left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman added a 148-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara which gave India a hope to win the game.
However, after Pant got out on 97, even Pujara departed after making 77. Team India were under pressure when the likes of Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin stepped out to bat. The duo showed supreme defiance as they survived the dangerous bowling attack like a hot knife through butter.
The duo played more balls and made the game quite tough for the Aussies. Aussie bowlers tried all possible tactics and combinations to outsmart the batsmen but all their experimentation were to no avail. Vihari and Ashwin scored 23 (161) and 39 (128) runs respectively.
Wade tries to unsettle Ashwin
Australian cricketer Matthew Wade made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. He came under fire for pulling off dirty antics to unsettle the Indian batsmen. When Vihari played defensive cricket to frustrate the Aussies, Wade got fed up and threw the ball towards him.
When Vihari defended the ball off Josh Hazlewood’s bowling, the ball went straight to Matthew Wade. The cricketer quickly picked up and aimed at Wade. It never really looked like Wade was going for the stumps.
Then again, Wade showed his dark side by trying to scare off Ravichandran Ashwin at the crease. When Ashwin tried to nudge the ball towards short leg, Wade who was positioned at that region stopped the ball and after which, he pulled off disgraceful antics on the field.
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Steve Smith – Man of the Match
Steve Smith came under fire for his poor run of form in the first two Tests. However, the World’s No.2 Test batsman announced his arrival at the SCG Test by playing good brand of cricket.
The former Australian skipper scored an impressive 131 in the first innings. He continued his good touch with the bat by scoring 81 in the second innings. Rightly so, he was named the man of the match.
The ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy series is level at 1-1. It will be quite interesting to see how India play at The Gabba because no team has won there for a long time. The fourth and final Test match will be played on January 15.