Sport | Cricket
Test cricket showed off all its grit and splendour on Monday on the fifth day of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
India, starting the last day at 98/2 and still needing a further 309 runs for victory, held out for an unlikely draw after a gutsy, unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 62 from a painstaking 256 balls between Hanuma Vihari and Ravi Ashwin.
Vihari, batting with a hamstring injury, made 23 runs off 161 balls and Ashwin, struggling with a rib injury, made 39.
India finished the day on 334/5.
Not many gave them much hope of forcing a result.
It was a purist’s dream and gives the five-day game a shot in the arm in an era of fast-paced, white ball and coloured clothing cricket.
The game needs more tightly contested matches to survive.
Test matches like we saw recently between South Africa and Sri Lanka that finished inside of three days are not good for cricket and won’t attract new audiences.
It’s a pity that reports of racial abuse from Australian fans towards the Indian cricketers surfaced and that former captain Steve Smith has been accused of unsportsmanlike behaviour for scuffing out an Indian batsman’s guard, ruined the spectacle.
With only a few days until the fourth and final Test starts at the Gabba in Brisbane on Friday, let’s hope the two teams dish up some more magic.
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