Australian captain Tim Paine lamented the dropped catches as Team India displayed one of their gutsiest shows to pull off a sensational draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) to ensure the series remains 1-1 at the end of the third Test.
Australia dropped as many as four catches, out of which Tim Paine dropped three. The Australian skipper dropped Team India’s top-scorer Rishabh Pant twice – one early in the innings and the other when the southpaw was counterattacking.
“I thought we created enough chances to win the game; this one’s a tough one to swallow,” said Paine at the post-match presentation.
Chasing 407 runs to win the Test, Team India looked on course for an improbable win till Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant stayed at the crease.
To add to Team India’s misfortunes with injuries on this tour, Hanuma Vihari sustained a hamstring injury during the innings. With a fragile tail and an injured Ravindra Jadeja to follow, Team India decided to shut shop and play for a draw, batting out 131 overs for 334 runs.
Hanuma Vihari (23 off 161) and Ravichandran Ashwin (39 off 128) shared a 62-run stand for the sixth wicket, batting out almost 43 overs.
Distraught at the missed opportunities, Tim Paine lauded his bowlers for their effort till the end and also praised the team’s batting that had struggled in the first two Tests.
“Our bowlers were superb. (Nathan) Lyon bowled very well just that we (implying himself) didn’t hold onto our catches. We were looking forward to Brisbane. We didn’t play our best in the last two games, but we were somewhat good with the bat in this Test,” Tim Paine added.
Tim Paine picks the positives despite failing to force a win
Despite getting a 39 not out with the bat in the second innings, the SCG Test hasn’t been a good one for Tim Paine.
Apart from the dropped catches, he also got several reviews (DRS) wrong. He was 15% of his match fees for showing dissent as well. In the final hour of the match, Tim Paine was involved in a war of words with Ashwin.
However, Tim Paine chose to spell out the positives and praised youngsters Will Pucovski and Cameron Green for their efforts in the game.
Debutant Pucovski got a fine 62 in the first innings while Green, who shared a 104-run stand with Tim Paine, slammed 84 for his first fifty in Tests.
“There were a few positives for us. Our bowlers created many chances. Even, today was a whole-hearted effort from the boys, just that things didn’t go our way. I think having two young kids (Pucovski and Green) playing Test cricket, it’s a great thing, and they were sensational. Green was fantastic yesterday,” Tim Paine further added.
Australia remain at the top of the ICC Test Championship points table with 73.8% PCT, while Team India are marginally ahead of New Zealand in second spot with 70.2%.
The final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be played on Friday at the Gabba in Brisbane, a venue where the hosts haven't lost a Test since 1988.Published 11 Jan 2021, 15:08 IST