|Third Test, Sydney Cricket Ground (day five)|
|Australia 338 (Smith 131, Labuschagne 91) & 312-6 dec (Green 84, Smith 81)|
|India 244 (Cummins 4-29) & 334-5 (Pant 97, Pujara 77)|
|Match drawn; series level at 1-1|
India showed incredible defiance to bat out the final day in a memorable draw with Australia in the third Test and take a thrilling series into a decider.
The tourists resumed on 98-2, chasing an unlikely 407 to win, and lost captain Ajinkya Rahane early on.
Rishabh Pant countered with a sublime 97 and Cheteshwar Pujara dug in for 77 during an absorbing second session in which it seemed India could even pull off the third highest fourth-innings chase in Test history.
But after both fell before tea to leave Australia needing five wickets in the final session, Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin battled superbly to survive 256 balls to steer India to 334-5 at the close.
Vihari’s unbeaten 23 off 161 balls was even more impressive given he batted for most of his innings with a hamstring injury, while Ashwin made 39 off 128 deliveries.
Australia captain Tim Paine dropped three catches behind the stumps, while his vaunted fast bowlers and off-spinner Nathan Lyon toiled.
The series remains level at 1-1 heading into the fourth and final Test in Brisbane starting on 15 January.
India need only a draw to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, while Australia will look to secure victory on a ground where they have not lost a Test since 1988.
Pant brings hope of the improbable
Given Rahane fell to Lyon in the second over of the day, that India looked on course to execute one of the greatest run-chases of all time during the second session underlined what a special knock Pant played.
He had not kept wicket since being hit on the elbow by Pat Cummins on day three, but was promoted to number five and played his natural attacking game with aplomb to put the pressure back on Australia.
Paine missed a catch to remove Pant for just three and he punished the mistake ruthlessly, carting Lyon for three massive sixes as he reached his third Test fifty from just 64 balls.
He was dropped again by Paine on 56 – also off Lyon – and continued to attack, leading himself to the brink a stunning century and India to 250-3 with plenty of time to score the further 157 required.
But in the last over before the new ball, he skipped down the pitch to Lyon and sliced to Cummins at gully.
Pujara proved an excellent foil in characteristically watchful style as he steadily accumulated 77 off 205 balls before he was bowled by a sublime delivery from Josh Hazlewood.
More to follow.