Sydney: Australia skipper Tim Paine's efforts to throw Ravichandran Ashwin off-guard failed terribly on the final day of the ongoing Pink Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the off-spinner had the perfect comeback in store.
Unable to take wickets, Australia skipper Paine was trying his best to distract Ashwin and he was caught on stump mic as saying: "Can't wait for you to reach Gabba, Ash."
To this, Ashwin immediately responded: "Can't wait for you to come to India as well, that would be your last series."
Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Vihari showed great resilience against the hosts as the duo batted with grit and determination to keep denying Australia a chance to clean up the Indian lower-order.
Vihari showed the intent to keep going despite pulling his hamstring in the second session of the day. Combining with spinner Ravichandran Ashwin after the dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara (77), Vihari showed the temperament required to defend every ball as he refused to get tempted to play a false shot.
It looked like the game was there for India to take home as Rishabh Pant and Pujara combined well after losing skipper Ajinkya Rahane early on the fifth morning. But India lost Pant (97) and Pujara in the second session and that saw Australia claw back into the game.
But Vihari and Ashwin ensured that they held fort and did not let Australia walk away with the game with the second new ball. It needed the two to dig in deep and that is just what they did. They pulled off a 50-run stand off 247 balls and that spoke of the intent the duo showed to ensure India went into the Gabba Test with the series still level at 1-1.
Earlier, Australia had set India a target of 407. Cameron Green and Steve Smith played knocks of 84 and 81 respectively as Australia declared their second innings on 312/6.