Ashwin and Vihari help India pull off a heroic draw

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India was expected to bow down and surrender.

They resumed day 5 at 98-2, needing an extra 309 runs after being set an enormous 407 to win when Australia declared their second innings at tea Sunday on 312 for six.

The odds were against them.

The highest a team has ever scored top secure a win in the fourth innings at the SCG was 288, with Australia attaining that mark against the Proteas in 2006.

When Ajinkya Rahane fell at 102, even the most boisterous Indian fan would have given up hope.

But the Indian resistance, or should we call it, piece de resistance, was about to blossom in the most splendid manner!

Pant walked in, ahead of Hanuma Vihari, again, an inspired piece of decision making by the Indian think tank.

The stock wicket keeper batsman, who is known to wear his aggression on his sleeve, made light of his elbow injury and proceeded to play in a manner that was oblivious to the looming crisis.

After settling in and surviving a missed catch by Tim Paine on three, started to hit out, smacking a 4 and a six off Lyon on consecutive balls. 

Batting in Twenty20-style, he then clobbered two extra sixes in a row off Lyon and reached his 50 in just 64 balls.

Paine dropped him once more on 56, off the bowling of Lyon.

Pant’s fire was complemented by the ice of Pujara.

Aided by an explosive 97 from Rishabh Pant and a determined 77 from Cheteshwar Pujara, completed 6,000 runs, India created the stage for a great escape from the jaws of certain defeat.

Pujara became the 11th Indian to attain the feat, before being bowled by Josh Hazlewood.

Just when Pant was at the threshold of an unforgettable century, he threw his bat one time too many, caught by Pat Cummins off Lyon.

Thankfully, for India, the good work was carried on Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari.

However it’s going to even be remembered for allegations India have been racially abused by sections of the Sydney Cricket Floor crowd, with investigations underway and hard motion promised in opposition to anybody at fault.

Vihari, nursing a hamstring damage, survived 161 balls for his priceless 23 runs and Ashwin, who had therapy on his ribs, making 39.

The series now stands at a tantalising 1:1 as the teams head to Brisbane later this week for the decider.