The feelings from captains Ajinkya Rahane and Tim Paine had been understandably in distinction on the finish of a gripping fifth day of the Sydney Check. India had been three down early within the day when Rahane was dismissed, and confronted the prospect of batting out near a 100 overs with doubtlessly two incapacitated batsmen. One among them, Rishabh Pant, did come out to bat and swung the momentum India’s means earlier than a 42-over rearguard from Hanuma Vihari – who additionally picked up an harm – and R Ashwin sealed a draw with out the tail ready.

Paine mentioned the consequence was a “powerful one to swallow” for his workforce, and for himself specifically, having dropped three catches. One among them was that of Vihari late within the day.

“[We were] fairly assured (at first of the day), with our assault. We actually created sufficient probabilities to win the sport,” Paine mentioned within the post-match presentation to the host broadcaster. “It is a powerful one to swallow, significantly given my scenario. I assumed our bowlers had been very good all day. Marnie [Labuschagne] and Nathan [Lyon] tried every part, the quicks had been superior. Simply did not maintain our catches, myself specifically, so we will cop the blame for that and put on it and transfer on to Brisbane.”

The draw marked the tip of a second consecutive match the place India have needed to make a comeback, for a wide range of causes. In Melbourne, they bounced again from participant absences and being 36 all out within the first Check, and the harm scenario received worse with blows to Pant and Ravindra Jadeja within the first innings of this Check. Rahane, who remained undefeated as a captain in Exams after the SCG fixture, mentioned the chat of their dressing room was about persisting with that spirit.

“Our speak this morning was about displaying character, combating until the tip and never to consider outcomes,” he mentioned. “Actually pleased the best way we fought, particularly at the moment however all through this recreation. First innings, Australia had been 200 for two, and from there to get all of them out for 338 was actually good.

“Sure, there are a number of areas we are able to enhance on, however particular point out to Vihari and Ashwin in the long run, the best way they batted, [they’ve] proven their character, which was actually good to see.”

Underpinning the combat was the daring transfer to push Pant as much as No. 5, above Vihari who normally bats there, regardless of his having missed the whole lot of the third innings when India had been on the sphere. Pant was carrying an elbow harm into the innings, however confirmed little proof of that as he counterattacked his strategy to 97. In the identical passage of play throughout which he fell, India briefly entertained ideas of chasing 407 down, with Cheteshwar Pujara additionally going sturdy on the different finish and a minimum of 50 overs to get 157.

Whereas his dismissal – after which Pujara’s not lengthy after – put an finish to these aspirations, there was excellent news on the finish for India – Rahane indicated that Pant could be accessible for the subsequent Check.

“Yeah, credit score to him. I imply, we made the technique, however in the long run it is all about that participant displaying the character,” Rahane mentioned. “It was all a few left-hand-right-hand mixture within the center that labored out very well for us. Credit score to him, the best way he batted; attacking innings, backed himself very well.

“Rishabh is all proper. Accidents, I believe, we can’t management. We’re simply specializing in the Brisbane Check match. Jadeja…the physios are going to take the decision, however aside from that, we now have to see how Vihari is feeling. Trying ahead to Brisbane now.”

Paine and Australia would even be trying ahead to the ultimate Check – which is a must-win if they’re to take the Border-Gavaskar Trophy again from India – on the Gabba, which is traditionally certainly one of Australia’s favorite venues, and doubtlessly a spot the place his workforce may hit what would fulfill him as their greatest.

“As I’ve mentioned earlier than, we did not play our greatest in Adelaide, or in Melbourne, to be honest. I assumed this Check match we confirmed glimpses of our greatest. We’re actually again nearer to the place we need to be as a batting group, nonetheless in all probability left a number of on the market within the first innings,” Paine mentioned. “There have been some optimistic indicators there and once more, I assumed our bowlers tried their hearts out, created loads of probabilities, loads of alternatives. The ball was dropping wanting the fielders and stuff like that, so it was a whole-hearted effort from the boys and issues simply did not go our means.”

Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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