Team India barely managed to salvage a draw in Melbourne Test, thanks to lack of aggression shown by Australia in the morning hours. However, the Kangaroos took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series with one Test to go. It was India’s sixth straight Test series loss abroad. Australia reclaimed the Gavaskar-Border Trophy.
Earlier, Australia delayed the declaration, thanks to the open challenge thrown by Virat Kohli that Team India would chase any target set before them. Australia was scared because of the Adelaide experience and did not want to take any chance. They scored at a low pace and finally declared at 318/9 when Shaun Marsh was out for 99. For India, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets each.
The victory target was 384 from 70 overs, spread over two sessions. India started on a disastrous note by losing Dhawan (0) and Rahul (1) with just 5 runs on board. Murali Vijay got a dubious LBW decision from Dharmasena, which again triggered a debate, which may force the BCCI to accept the DRS system.
With 19/3 at one stage, India stared at yet another defeat. However, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane came to the rescue again. They added 85 runs for the fourth wicket to consolidate the Indian innings. They departed quickly along with Pujara after Tea and India were 142/6. But, skipper Dhoni and Ashwin batted patiently to hold on and managed a draw in the end.
India were 174/6 when both skippers decided to call off the game with 4 overs to go. Kohli (54), Rahane (48), Pujara (21) and Dhoni (24*) were the top contributors. Johnson, Harris and Hazlewood took two wickets each. Ryan Harris was declared ‘Man of the Match’.
Australia 530 (Rogers 57, Watson 52, Smith 192, Shaun Marsh 32, Haddin 55, Johnson 28, Harris 74; Umesh Yadav 3/130, Shami 4/138, Ashwin 3/134) & 318/9 declared (Warner 40, Rogers 69, Shaun Marsh 99; Umesh Yadav 2/89, Shami 2/92, Ishant 2/49, Ashwin 2/75).
India 465 (Vijay 68, Dhawan 28, Pujara 25, Kohli 169, Rahane 147; Johnson 3/135, Harris 4/70, Lyon 2/108) & 174/6 (Kohli 54, Rahane 48, Pujara 21, Dhoni 24*; Johnson 2/38, Harris 2/30, Hazlewood 2/40).