The four-match Test series between India and Australia is now hanging on by a wire after neither teams managed to get a result in Ranchi in the third Test. After a humiliating defeat in the first Test, hosts India bounced back by winning the Bangalore Test by 75 runs. Twin fifties by Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh and their 124-run partnership saved tourists from another defeat in the third. On Day 5, Indian bowlers managed to pick only four wickets, and because of that, India’s desire to take the lead went to drain.
Plenty of credit for India clawing their way back in the series should go to the spin effort of Ravindra Jadeja. The left-arm spinner picked up six wickets in Bangalore and a total of nine wickets in Ranchi. His variation in terms of pitch of the delivery and the spin on offer has Australians baffled and is causing much more discomfort for the visitors than one expected R Ashwin to before the series began.
“Ravindra Jadeja has grown immensely as a player. He is bowling brilliantly and his contribution with the bat has also been wonderful. He is getting closer to Ravichandran Ashwin. Both are performing well for the side and supporting each other. So there is no comparison between them,” says former India great Bishan Singh Bedi.
Jadeja has enjoyed an impressive bowling record in the on-going home season as he has captured 67 wickets with four five-wicket hauls. He used to be a batsman who could bowl and has now become an asset with both. In fact, Jadeja has now edged Ashwin as the top ranked Test bowler in latest ICC rankings. His average ( 22.98) is the better between the two with Ashwin averaging 25.51 after 12 matches played this domestic season.
Elsewhere, things have been heated between both teams and both skippers have been at the forefront of the tussle. Virat Kohli and his counterpart Steve Smith were involved in a heated argument during the second innings of the second Test match while in the third match batsman Glenn Maxwell mocked Kohli’s injury. Talking about the on-field aggression among the players in this series, Bedi simply said, ‘two wrongs don’t make a right.’
Just like the past encounters between the two giants of the game, this series too has witnessed the same legacy which has involved on-field aggression, continuous heated arguments and banter on number of instances.
This was the third time Australia has managed to draw a Test against India on Indian soil, first two being in Delhi in 1980 and Mumbai in 1987. Fourth and the final match will be played in Dharamsala from March 25.