Third Test, Melbourne: Day 5 – Draw seals Australian series win

"There was some late criticism in the match being called off with four overs left to bowl in the day. 435.2 overs were bowled for the Test, yet the last four were deemed superfluous. Memories must be so short that Michael Clarke’s three wickets in five balls to win the spiteful Sydney Test in January 2008 didn’t even register..." Image: ABC Grandstand

“There was some late criticism in the match being called off with four overs left to bowl in the day. Memories must be so short that Michael Clarke’s three wickets in five balls to win in Sydney in 2008 didn’t even register…” Image: ABC Grandstand

Indian Captain MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket immediately after the Test, but didn't think to mention it in the press conference. Image: ABC Grandstand

Indian Captain MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket immediately after the Test, but didn’t think to mention it in the press conference. Image: ABC Grandstand

The New Daily: It threatened to finish in a thriller, but in the end Australia and India conceded the stalemate late on Day 5, with the Boxing Day Test finishing in a draw for the first time since South Africa held out on the last day back in 1997.

It would be very easy to conclude that Australia batting for all of the morning session was the major reason the Test finished in the anticlimax that it did. Shaun Marsh and Ryan Harris had added just 40 runs in the 18 overs before Harris was out for 21, less than five overs before lunch.

But by batting on, Steven Smith removed any risk of losing the Test and keeping the series alive heading into the Fourth Test next week, with a draw also ensuring Australia could not lose, or have India draw the series and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Day 5: Australia resumed 7/261, leading by 326.

AUSTRALIA 9 dec/318 (S.Marsh 99; Mohammed Shami 2/92)

INDIA 6/174 (V.Kohli 54, A.Rahane 48; R.Harris 2/30, M.Johnson 2/38, J.Hazlewood 2/40)

Match drawn.

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