India fought for 131 overs in the fourth innings of the Sydney Test against Australia recently to salvage a draw that was “as good as a win”. The sixth-wicket pair of Hanuma Vihari and R Ashwin fought injuries, and back pain to remain undefeated for 42.4 overs to ensure the series is levelled 1-1 ahead of the fourth and final Test at Brisbane that starts on January 15.
In the past, India have produced some brilliant fightback in the fourth innings to salvage a draw. Cricwizz takes a look at them.
2007 Lord's Test against England
India was set up a target of 380 runs and had close to five sessions to bat to save the match. MS Dhoni, who is known for his big-hitting, dropped anchor and held one end up as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. At 263/9, India looked hurtling towards a defeat, when S Sreesanth joined Dhoni in the middle. They batted out five more overs before the rain, and bad light came to the rescue and wiped out the final session, and honors were shared.
2009 Napier Test against New Zealand
India was asked to follow on with a deficit of 314 runs against New Zealand in the 2009 Napier Test, with two full days left to play. Indian opener Gautam Gambhir then played the innings of his life, consuming 436 balls for his 137. He curbed his natural instinct to block everything on his way, while other batsmen rallied around him. VVS Laxman cracked 124 not out to ensure India earned a well-deserved draw.
1979 Lord's Test against England
India was asked to chase down 438 runs for a win, with 5 sessions to achieve the target. India went all out for a win, with Sunil Gavaskar leading the chase with a double ton (221). He and his opening partner Chetan Chauhan (80) put up 213 runs for the opening wicket. But after the dismissal of Gavaskar at 389/4, India settled for a draw but not before losing 8 wickets, and 10 runs short of what could have been the highest successful run-chase ever in Test cricket.
1990 Old Trafford Test against England
India was staring at defeat at 183/6 chasing 408 for a win against a strong England bowling line-up in the Old Trafford Test in 1990. But a young Sachin Tendulkar announced his arrival in Test cricket, with a counter-attacking inning of 119*, the maiden Test ton of god of cricket. He stitched a 160-run unbeaten partnership with Manoj Prabhakar (67 not out) for the seventh wicket to steer India to a well-deserved draw. Tendulkar struck 17 fours in his maiden Test ton.
Cover photo: Indian players during the Sydney Test against Australia.
Photo courtesy: AP