Name: Adam Collins in Ranchi
Date registered: March 15, 2017
Defying lowly expectations derived from modern history in this part of the world, Australian batsmen Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb skilfully navigated their side to the safety of a crucial draw with India on the final day at Ranchi, maintaining the series ledger at one apiece.
The reward for Steve Smith’s gallant tourists is a blockbuster, winner-takes-all series decider in Dharamshala from Saturday. Common wisdom is that Tests in India speed up at their conclusion, and that if you find yourself batting on the final day, well, best of luck. When Australia lost two late wickets on the penultimate evening – including opener David Warner – the final script threatened to read that way.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/20/handscomb-and-marsh-guide-australia-to-draw-and-keep-india-series-alive
With neither captain backing down from the acrimony of Bangalore, the barbs are still flying as the state of the third Test pitch generates similar heat
The most significant match of the Steve Smith era to date awaits, with a backdrop of a buildup as tense as any between these sides since 2008. Spot fires are smouldering, with neither captain ceding an inch in the aftermath of Bangalore. All to be played on a surface the like these Australians have never seen before. Where’s the popcorn?
Smith’s men earned themselves three chances to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after their famous victory at Pune. But after falling just short in the Bangalore classic, there is a palpable sense that if it is to be their destiny to join Bill Lawry’s side of 1969 and Ricky Ponting’s of 2004, they have to get it done this week.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/15/steve-smith-and-australia-set-for-ranchi-pitch-battle-with-virat-kohli-and-india