Smith proud of gritty draw

Ross Houston
March 20, 2017

Jadeja had pitched the ball in the rough and it did take a sharp turn.

He faced 525 deliveries - most by any Indian batsman in an innings surpassing Rahul Dravid's Indian record of 495 balls against Pakistan at Rawalpindi back in 2004.

Starting the day at a nervy 23/2 in reply to India's 603/9 declared, Australia were 204/6 in 100 overs in their second innings when the two teams chose to end the proceedings.

India gave themselves eight overs to put Australia to bat after which the tourists scored 23 runs for the loss of David Warner and night watchman Nathan Lyon's wickets.

Renshaw and Smith started the day in good vein, simply trying to bat for as long as possible, taking occasional scoring opportunities but not taking any risks whatsoever.

Comeback man Pat Cummins was the most successful bowler bagging 4/106 in 39 overs.

Matt Renshaw will restart on seven not out, with captain Steve Smith due to join him.

At the crease is Cheteshwar Pujara, who is unbeaten on 40 and will resume batting with skipper Virat Kohli, who survived an injury scare earlier on day one.

603 for 9 in 210 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 202, Wriddhiman Saha 117, Pat Cummins 4/106).

Having lost just four wickets amid the cauldron of the final day in Ranchi, Australia impressively passed another major challenge to restore the goodwill fostered in recent months.

Pujara was the beneficiary of a marginal lbw call, prompting Australia to review unsuccessfully as Steven O'Keefe looked to have beaten the inside edge of the bat, only for replays to prove inconclusive before the original decision was upheld. I'm sure they're hurting a little bit in their change room. The fine leg fielder was quick to collect the ball and fired it at the striker's end where Pujara had already made his ground, but Wade wanted to catch Saha unawares at the non-striker's end and on receiving the ball, he fired it towards the bowler with looking at him.

This was the third Test century for the wicketkeeper-batsman, who has now cemented his place in the team.

Smith, who scored a spectacular 178 not out in the first innings to lead Australia to 451, misjudged a probing line from Jadeja with the ball pitching between middle and leg.

The 25-year-old with an unorthodox technique knuckled down to drive the visitors closer to a draw that would be a moral victory, given they'd slumped to 4-63 before lunch on day five. He managed just one wicket in the second innings to go with his solo scalp in the first essay.

"We fancied our chances because we didn't expect to get 150 runs in front", said India captain Virat Kohli.

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