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Peter Handscomb And Shaun Marsh Secure Draw For Australia at Ranchi

20 March 2017

Virat Kohli, when they beat England 4-0 in the five-match Test series, said he thought England were going to be their toughest opponents, and he was ecstatic at dominating Alastair Cook's men, but Australia have showed they are a much better Test team in these conditions.

By the time the tea break was taken, both the batsmen had ensured that India's lead was down to just 3 runs.

"It's amusing", Kohli said, flashing a exhausted smile.

"It's a massive game in Dharamsala, we can't wait to get there".

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Smith said the pitch played better than it looked and added, "Pujara and Saha batted exceptionally well".

Coming together after Renshaw and Smith were dismissed in successive overs in the morning session of Day 5, the two defied the Indian attack for almost two sessions with solid defense and ability to leave the ball, before Marsh (53) departed to Ravindra Jadeja.

"Jadeja is unbelievable. I have never seen anyone bowl so economically for so long ever".

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199 Partnership between Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha - the highest seventh-wicket stand for India against Australia, beating 132 between Hemu Adhikari and Vijay Hazare in Adelaide in 1947-48. Given Maxwell and Kohli's reputations, expect that subplot to continue in Dharamsala.

With all of their batters barring David Warner in form, Smith said: "It's great signs for us that everyone is contributing". Resilient. They played beautifully today. Kohli, who went off the field on the first day due to an injury and did not field the whole of second day yesterday, had scored 0, 13, 12, 15 in the four innings of the earlier two Tests. Heading into the final day in Ranchi battered and bruised after spending 210 overs in the field, it seemed inevitable the visitors would crumble and lose their remaining eight wickets against a rejuvenated India who had suddenly regained control of the series. It was a masterclass in defence and application but, importantly, they looked to score runs through rotation of the strike knowing that being anchored to the crease was nearly kamikaze.

Had Dhoni played this Test as captain, Ranchi would have had the distinction of its favourite son leading India in its debut match in all three formats. "And if Jadeja can come score runs as he has done in this series then I think it really makes sense to go back to five bowlers and six batsmen theory", Gavaskar told NDTV. I do get tempted to hit in the air, but you have to look at the bigger picture.

"You get worn out, but I have been working hard on my fitness, careful with my diet, and hoping to recover soon for the big Test coming up", concluded Pujara.

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Peter Handscomb And Shaun Marsh Secure Draw For Australia at Ranchi