Sydney Test had it all. From Australia gaining the upper-hand early on to India fighting it out in the final day for a memorable draw, the drama that unfolded over the course of five days at the Sydney Cricket Ground will be remembered for a long time to come.

India were set a challenging target of 407 to win and lost their three wickets for just 102 on what was a difficult pitch to bat on. However, the grittiness with which their middle-order fought back despite multiple players battling fitness issues, ensured the visitors left SCG with their heads held high forcing a draw that is equivalent to a win. takes a look at the highs and lows from the third Test.

The Comeback

Australia’s best batsman Steve Smith endured a poor start to the series. After the first two Tests, he accumulated a grand total of 11 runs in four innings including a first-ever duck against India. He chose Sydney, his home, to left behind the indifferent form and smash a century – 131 – in the first innings. It was his 27th such total in Test cricket. In the second innings as well, he continued to bat in the same vein, hitting 81 off 167.

The Ugly

Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah complained of being at the receiving end of racist remarks from a section of the Sydney crowd bringing the game into disrepute. As a result, the contest was halted for several minutes and the spectators in question were ejected from the stadium. Cricket Australia issued an official apology to the Indian cricket team while the International Cricket Council launched an investigation into the ugly incident.

The Counterattack

With India left to chase a massive 407, they were given little to no chance of being able to save the Test. Batting legend Ricky Ponting had even predicted them not being able to manage even 200. And with their players being injured during the course of the Test, the chances were bleak. Ravindra Jadeja was nursing a fractured thumb that ruled him out of the fourth Test, Rishabh Pant didn’t keep after a blow to his left elbow, Hanuma Vihari hurt his hamstring during batting on the fifth day and Ravichandran Ashwin had a back issue as well. With India losing Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma and Rahane on 102, Pant was promoted up the batting order. And he produced a blazing innings while surviving a dropped catch to hit 97 off 118. He struck 12 fours and three sixes during his stay and even ignited hopes of an unlikely India win.

Butterfinger Paine

Australia captain and wicketkeeper Tim Paine had a torrid time behind the stumps. He dropped as many as three catches during the fifty day’s play. The first drop was of Pant when he was batting on just 3. We all know how that played out later on. The second chance came off the bowling of Pat Cummins and this time the beneficiary was Ashwin when he was on 15. The third drop came late into the day and this time Vihari was let off when batting on 15.

The Blockathon

Cheteshwar Pujara (77 off 205), Ashwin (39* off 128) and Vihari (23* off 161) cemented themselves on the Sydney pitch and frustrated Australian bowlers throughout Monday as they hunted for wickets. As a result of their combined efforts, India finished on 334/5 in 131 overs as the play ended in a draw with one over left in the match. And two think of that, two of them – Ashwin and Vihari – were battling fitness issues. Oh and if there was any late drama, Jadeja was ready to walk in. Epic.