With the series locked at 1-1, a lot was expected from the Ranchi Test. A win here would have given the teams much needed ascendancy before heading to Dharamsala for the fourth and final Test of the series. It wasn’t the case to be as both teams, after a see-saw battle in the middle, head to settle for a draw. MS Dhoni’s hometown Ranchi saw exciting cricket for five days but didn’t the result they would have hoped for. It was a good game for both teams.
Australia had performances from Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb while the hosts had plenty of positives from the way they batted and bowled. Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha stood out but there were equally important contributions from Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja. With the ball, it was a complete effort. Jadeja was among the wickets while the seamers chipped in where it mattered. India got themselves into a position where they could have won they game, here’s a look at what went against them on the final day:
Beginning the proceedings from their overnight score of 23/2, Australia seemed to be under some pressure before Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja removed Matt Renshaw and Steve Smith respectively before lunch. Tottering at 63/4, the Kangaroos needed a solid and more precisely a patient stand to get out of that critical situation which could have turned around the result of this match. A 197-ball 53 from Marsh and an unbeaten knock of 72 from 200 balls from Handscomb rescued the visitors in a pretty dramatic fashion. The left-right batting combination stood strong at the crease for almost 60 overs. Marsh was later sent back by Jadeja but the innings from the left-handed batsman ensured that his team was in control of the Test match in Ranchi.
Ashwin’s fails to fire
The spearhead of Indian spin bowling Ravi Ashwin has been one of the most effective bowlers especially in the second innings of a Test match. Even in the second match at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, the off-spinner removed 6 Australian batsmen in the last innings. It wasn’t the case on Sunday.
Handscomb’s early life
Catches win matches is one saying that Indian side would be remembering in the present scenario when they put down a difficult catch of Handscomb at short-leg off Ravi Ashwin in the 40th over. This could have been a vital take if Karun Nair would have held on to it as the two Australian batsmen were in the initial stages of crafting a partnership that eventually turned out to be a match-saving one.
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