Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh help Australia escape Ranchi Test with a draw

- Ravindra Jadeja, with 27 wickets at 19.66 runs apiece in four Tests, is the most successful bowler in Tests this year - the next highest being Ravichandran Ashwin - 23 (ave.28.82) in four Tests.

Captain Virat Kohli tried to explain it when he said, "You obviously want to choose ends - fast bowlers from the far end were more effective and the spinners from the commentary end". Coming with the result we wanted.

Australia ground out a draw with Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh proving hard to dislodge after India removed Matt Renshaw and Steve Smith in the morning session. The former India captain also differed with Australia captain Steve Smith and said it is not the visitors but India who has the momentum on its side going into the fourth and final Test in Dharamsala starting Saturday.

"Sometimes I feel really bad for him that people don't understand his importance so much in this team". Australia won the first test at Pune by 333 runs, and India levelled with a 75-run win in Bangalore. "So what happens on the day is important".

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'I think the hardness of the ball was a big factor, ' said the star batsman after the stalemate.

Shaun Marsh (right) and Peter Handscomb run between the wickets yesterday.

"After two wickets [on day four], we thought we had a good chance, but credit to the two batsmen [Handscomb and Marsh], they batted really well". It was a common theme during the match, in scenes reminiscent of a drawn Test with Australia at the WACA in 2015. In recent times, it's not the first occasion that a prominent Indian player has criticised the SG ball. It's fine when you find that you are not in a position to win then it's better to save the game and live to fight for another day. Had it not been for his double hundred, India would have lost the Ranchi Test. "They stuck to their plans throughout and never shied away from it", he said.

At the break, Cheteshwar Pujara was unbeaten on 40, with Virat Kohli padded up to bat next.

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After Kohli took the new ball, Ravi Jadeja dismissed Marsh for 53, while spin partner Ravi Ashwin sent back Glenn Maxwell but Australia had reached safety by this stage of day five. He also bowled nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (2) in the final over of the day. Josh Hazlewood who should have bowled a fuller length and attempted to swing the ball under a cloud cover, began pitching short and entered into a verbal duel with both Pujara and Saha.

Kohli lavished praise on Chesteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha who helped India to a dominating position with their epic seventh wicket stand of 199 runs. Not only did it last all five days, but kept everyone interested till the Test's final hour. "We both use the same ball, you just got to do what you can with it".

Kohli's declaration ensured that his bowlers could have a few overs while the Australians' minds were worn out. Ranchi's debut Test was a hit and like fans, Kohli and his team walked off gleamingly, if not satisfyingly.

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