Peter Handscomb made his most significant contribution so far in this Test series    AFP
Peter Handscomb made his most significant contribution so far in this Test series AFP

Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb showed remarkable application and grit to keep India at bay throughout the post lunch session, taking Australia to 149 for 4 on the final day. A draw looms over the Ranchi Test with India failing to take even one wicket in the second session, with the two batsmen dropping their anchor and bringing down India s lead in a clinical fashion. Marsh reached 38 not out off 127 balls, and on the other hand, Handscomb churned out his best innings so far on this tour. Handscomb has faced 112 balls and scored 44 runs keeping India at bay. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, 3rd Test, Ranchi

Australia s resilience leaves India with a lot of hard work to do in the final session, as they will have to get 6 quick wickets and score the runs which the visiting side would have added in their second-innings lead. After a very long time in the third Test, Australia have had moments to cherish as they have produced a determined batting show on the final day on a wicket which has turned as well as bounced. India will be disappointed to have not being able to get any success in the second session, with Ravichandran Ashwin remaining wicketless in what looks like a fourth innings for a fallible Australian team.

While India used Ravindra Jadeja on a consistent basis in the second session, Ashwin was on and off. There were changes in ends for the premier spinner but no success, with Handscomb using his feet excellently to collect a lot of runs. In one over from Ashwin, Handscomb found as many as three boundaries which signalled how good the wicket remains for batting, for those with right application.

Jadeja remained India s best hope but he had no success either. The ball got slow and soft, and Australia utilised the batting conditions to their benefit. Most of the deliveries from Ashwin did not turn, and even if they would have, Handscomb at least made sure to reach where they pitched and worked them for runs most of the times on the leg side.

India showed some desperate signs early in the second session when they opted for a DRS review against Marsh, but lost it embarrassingly as the ball angling away from the left-hander had pitched outside leg-stump line.

Australia have done well so far on the final day, losing only 2 wickets in as many sessions so far. The scoring was easy as the visitors now trail by a mere 3 runs, but they will have to be wary of India’s fightback in the final session. India will be due for the second new ball after 11 overs.

Brief scores:

Australia 451 & 149 for 4 (Shaun Marsh 38*, Peter Handscomb 44*; Ravindra Jadeja 3 for 22, Ishant Sharma 1 for 34) trail India 603 for 9 decl. (Murali Vijay 82, KL Rahul 67, Cheteshwar Pujara 202, Wriddhiman Saha 117, Ravindra Jadeja 54*; Pat Cummins 4 for 106) by 3 runs.

FULL CRICKET SCORECARD & BALL-BY-BALL COMMENTARY: India vs Australia, 3rd Test, Ranchi