Defiant India earn dramatic draw in Sydney test

== RESENDING WITH FULL SHOTLIST AND SCRIPT ==

SHOWS: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 11, 2021) (BCCI - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AJINKYA RAHANE, INDIA CAPTAIN, SAYING:

"It was all about playing against their bowling attack not any individual. Our focus was to just keep fighting until the end and that's what we did.

"We showed attitude and character from each individuals perspective, and keep fighting until the end. I'm really proud of the guys the way er played today."

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AJINKYA RAHANE, INDIA CAPTAIN, SAYING:

"I thought his (Rishabh Pant) knock was more special than his hundred. His knock was really special, the way he batted especially after he got injured, to show that motivation, to show that hunger to hang in there for your team it was really good and that's what we want from each and every individual, to show that character on the field. Because it's all about what the team wants and I think credit to him, the way he handled himself. There was pressure, yes, but the way he managed his batting, his injury, it was really special to see."

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AJINKYA RAHANE, INDIA CAPTAIN, SAYING:

"I'm really happy for (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Hanuma) Vihari, the way they handled the pressure and the way they batted was really good."

6. WHITE FLASH

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 11, 2021) (CRICKET AUSTRALIA - ACCESS ALL)

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIM PAINE, AUSTRALIA CAPTAIN, SAYING:

"Obviously we wanted to win the game. I thought we created enough chances to do so. I wouldn't say it's deflating, I think there's a lot of positives out of the game. I thought it was an awesome game of test match cricket, I though India fought bloody hard like we knew they would.

"Clearly we're disappointed not to get a win but yes I thought there were some good signs for us after the Melbourne test match."

8. WHITE FLASH

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 11, 2021) (CRICKET AUSTRALIA - ACCESS ALL)

9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIM PAINE, AUSTRALIA CAPTAIN, SAYING:

"Obviously I think all the dropped catches have played a part in the result, probably going both ways to be fair. Obviously I'm bitterly disappointed, I pride myself on my wicketkeeping and I haven't had too many worse days than that today.

"It's a horrible feeling knowing that our fast bowlers and our spinner bowled their hearts out and gave everything to the team and I certainly feel that I let them down. So I've got to wear that but I'm a big boy and I'll get another crack at it next week, so move on."

STORY: A battered and bruised India team batted resiliently through the final day to snatch a remarkable draw in the third test against Australia on Monday (January 11), leaving an engrossing series tied at 1-1 heading into the final match in Brisbane.

A hobbling Hanuma Vihari combined with Ravichandran Ashwin to defy Australia's attack in a partnership over the last three hours of the match that kept alive India's hopes of a second successive series triumph Down Under.

The sixth-wicket stand was worth only 62 runs but immeasurably more in terms of morale for a squad that has endured quarantine, alleged racial abuse from fans and a catalogue of injuries.

Australia's frontline bowlers, who skittled the tourists for 36 in the first test, threw everything they had at the Indian batsmen on a day five wicket at Sydney Cricket Ground that did not deteriorate as much as they had hoped.

India finished on 334 for five, 73 runs short of the victory target of 407 that Australia had handed them after declaring on 312-6 at tea on Sunday.

Earlier, a brilliant 97 from Rishabh Pant and a typically obdurate 77 from Cheteshwar Pujara had given India a glimmer of hope that they might just be able to chase down their imposing target.

Pant, who was a serious injury doubt on Saturday after taking a nasty blow to his elbow, slugged 12 fours and three sixes to take the game to the Australians.

The pair had put on 148 for the fourth wicket before Pant was caught at backward point three runs shy of his century to give off-spinner Nathan Lyon his second wicket of the day.

It was huge relief to the home side, who must have had flashbacks to Ben Stokes's innings of 135 not out at Headingley in the 2019 Ashes that enabled England to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Pujara was the chalk to Pant's cheese, eking out his runs from 205 deliveries over 285 minutes before Josh Hazlewood finally got something out of the second new ball to penetrate his defence and shatter his wickets.

Once they departed, however, a draw was clearly the only target.

Vihari, clearly hampered having pulled up clutching his hamstring after running for a single before tea, scored at a rate that made Pujara look like a limited overs slogger.

His 23 runs came from 161 deliveries, while Ashwin was barely more expansive with 39 from 128 balls. At one stage, 41 deliveries passed without a run being scored.

Ashwin came out to bat ahead of Ravindra Jadeja, who dislocated his left thumb in the first innings to add to India's long injury list.

Steve Smith was named Man of the Match for his innings of 131 and 81 and Australia will be hoping he maintains that form at the Gabba, where they are unbeaten in 31 tests going back to 1988.

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley earlier ended a week of uncertainty around the match, which begins on Friday, by announcing that the tourists had agreed to travel to Brisbane despite concerns about the biosecurity measures.

(Production: Andy Ragg)