Washington and Thakur help India stay in the hunt

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Image courtesy Twitter account of Cricket Australia
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Make no mistake, this Indian team has a spine of steel.

Time and again, when they were expected to roll over and die, they have proved the naysayers wrong, taken on destiny by its horns and fought back.

After the energy-sapping struggles of the Sydney test, one would have thought, the Indians would be utterly spent.

But on each and every occasion, they have found a man, or in this case, a couple of men who have put their hands up.

And made a mockery of every prediction, made by cricketing pundits.

Today, India’s heroes were Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur.

The duo rescued India from a precarious situation to help score 336 all out in the first innings, a deficit of only 33 runs to Australia, when it seemed it would be a lot more.

The visitors began slowly, with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane playing cautiously.

Pujara was the first to go as he edged one to wicketkeeper Tim Paine off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood for 25 with the team’s score on 105.

Rahane followed, edging one to fourth slip off Mitchell Starc for 37 with the team score on 144.

Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant tried to add some momentum to India’s innings, but fell after scoring some useful runs.

Looking totally composed on his Test debut, Sundar slammed 62 runs off 144 balls, consisting of seven fours and a six. Meanwhile, Thakur also registered his maiden Test half-century, scoring 67 from 115 deliveries (nine fours and two sixes).

Sundar’s innings was the highest individual score for a debutant batting at number seven in Australia.

Josh Hazlewood was in top form for Australia, taking five wickets against India.

In reply, Australia were 21 for no loss in six overs at stumps with David Warner (20) and Marcus Harris (1), the two unbeaten batsmen.

Not surprisingly, many cricketers were impressed with India’s fightback and tweeted about it.

Australia 369 and 21 for 0 lead India 336 (Thakur 67, Sundar 62, Hazlewood 5-57) by 54 runs