A great rearguard action by Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb helped save the Ranchi Test for Australia. (AP: Aijaz Rahi)
Australia and India shared the honours in the third Test, but both sides insisted they banked the moral victory ahead of the series decider in Dharamsala.
The intense four-Test series, currently level at 1-1, will come down to five days of cricket starting on Saturday, perhaps fewer if the picturesque venue at the foot of the Himalayas produces a raging turner.
The stand started in Monday’s morning session when Steve Smith, the most important brick in Australia’s stonewall, failed to play a shot and was clean-bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. The tourists were in dire straits at 4-63.
It ended with the visitors sitting pretty at 5-187 in the final session, needing only to avoid the most cataclysmic of collapses. They did, with Handscomb finishing 72 not out.
Australia had to work hard to survive the final day, giving the tourists a boost ahead of the final Test. (REUTERS: Adnan Abidi)
“If there’s anything called momentum in cricket it’s probably with us at the moment,” Smith said.
“India coming here today would have expected to bowl us out. I’m sure they’re hurting a little bit.”
Kohli naturally had a different take, applauding his team for seizing control of the contest after Australia won the toss and posted 451 in their first innings.
“Everyone has his point of view. We will look…