As the Indian batsmen stepped up to the crease on day 5 of the third Test at the SCG, the odds were against them. Every cricket pundit had predicted they’d be all but gone. ABC Radio’s Alex Blackwell said that India will be back in the sheds by lunch, Stuart Clark had India with its tail between its legs by tea.
Instead, India finished the day, and the Test match, with 5 wickets in hand. In fact, by midday, they were in hunt for nothing short of a victory.
The Indian performance has been lauded as one of the best batting on Day 5 of any cricket Test match, perhaps the best ever at a crumbling SCG pitch. With intense focus, the batsmen of the day – Pujara, Rahane, Pant, Vihari, and Ashwin – kept the lethal Australian bowling attack at bay.
The men in blue, battered with broken fingers and bruises, showed a mettle that will energise the team as they now head to Brisbane.
Australia has not lost a match in Brisbane since 1988, but surely today proves that nothing should be taken for granted with this Indian team. Resolve and resilience is the hallmark of this team which, without its normal captain Virat Kohli, has continued to show courage at the crease.
As if motivated more than ever from the issues of racism dominating the headlines, this team did not take a backward step today and won the battle against the number 2 Test team in the world.
Australia had a crack and lost, India won the battle on day five and the Sydney Test Match.
One of the best ever Test matches in recent memory.