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IND vs Aus 3rd Test Day 5: Australia Seal Series With Draw At MCG

By on December 30, 2014

Australia 530 (Smith 192) and 9 for 318 dec (Marsh 99, Rogers 69) drew with India 465 (Kohli 169, Rahane 147, Harris 4-70) and 6 for 174 (Kohli 54)…

Ryan Harris picked up six wickets for 110 runs in the Boxing Day Test.

For all the talk of showing aggression and having respect, the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground exemplified why it is imperative to walk the talk.

While Virat Kohli’s aggression extended to the press briefings and became the biggest talking point of this match, Australia’s Ryan Harris limited his to the playing field to end with a match haul of 6 for 110 to go with a crucial 88-ball 74 in the first innings to help the home team clinch the series 2-0 with a draw at the MCG. The result means that India have lost six consecutive Test series outside Asia since 2011.

IND vs Aus 3rd Test Day 5

Going by what Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin said in their media interactions during the course of this Test, a target of 384 should have been a breeze even on a fifth day track; but reality hit the Indian team hard as the Australian pacers ran through their top order in no time immediately after lunch on Tuesday.

Ajinkya Rahane (48) and Kohli (54) resisted, similar to what they had done in the first innings with a record 262-run stand for the fourth wicket, for more than one session before Harris removed Kohli off the first ball after lunch.

The batsman flicked an innocuous length delivery straight to Joe Burns at square, thus putting to rest any chance of India pushing for a famous win.

Harris had earlier drawn first blood by removing Shikhar Dhawan for 0 with an incoming delivery. Instead of Cheteshwar Pujara, India sent in the debutant KL Rahul at No 3 but for the second time the youngster fell to an ambitious shot, top-edging Mitchell Johnson to a running Shane Watson from the slips, while Josh Hazlewood prised out Murali Vijay to leave India 19 for 3.

Rahane, who looked in good touch during his three-hour long stay, lost his concentration with 15 overs remaining, handing a simple catch to Shaun Marsh at midwicket. MS Dhoni and Ashwin played out the tricky last hour of play, taking India to 174 for 6 before both captains agreed on a draw.

India, to their credit, were competitive in patches throughout this Test but lacked a combined team effort. Runs in both innings came from only Rahane and Kohli while for Australia, in-form skipper Steven Smith (192) was ably supported by Chris Rogers (57, 69), Brad Haddin (55), Harris (74) and a very crucial 99 from Marsh in the second innings.

India’s biggest disappointment was Pujara, who has failed to score a hundred in 2014 and only twice has managed fifties in 20 innings. Walking in at No 6, he was bowled for 21 by Johnson, yet another example of a bat-pad weakness from a batsman known for his technical prowess. Up the order, Dhawan’s latest failure meant he entered the new year with just one fifty in six innings on tour.

With a lead of 326 overnight, the expectation was that Australia would go for runs early on day five, but two rain interruptions delayed any such plans. Once play did resume, Marsh and Harris bided their time.

Marsh moved from 62 to 99 before he was cruelly run out by a diving Kohli from mid-off, and thus came the declaration at 318 for 9. The question will surely be asked if Smith’s decision to bat for two hours was the correct one, considering it seemed a safety-first approach.

Nevertheless, the 25-year-old has led Australia to an unassailable position that leaves the Sydney Test starting January 6 as the India’s last chance at tasting success.

Source: gocricket

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