Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green give Australia hope of famous series draw with India
A maiden Test century from Cameron Green and Usman Khawaja’s brilliant 180 have Australia in contention to secure a famous series draw in India after a poignant second day of the finale in Ahmedabad.
Australia were hammered by an innings and 132 runs in the series opener before going 2-0 down after another collapse in Delhi, and at that point a whitewash looked almost inevitable.
However, the tourists battled back with a nine-wicket win in Indore last week and, after posting a first innings total of 480 in the Fourth Test, look to have a realistic chance of becoming the first team in more than a decade to avoid series defeat in India.
Ahead of the start of the day’s play, news broke that Maria Cummins, mother of Australian captain Pat Cummins, had passed away overnight. Cummins left the tour after the Second Test in order to fly home and initially intended to return in time for the final two matches but changed plans as her condition worsened, with Steve Smith deputising and players on Friday wearing black armbands in tribute.
Khawaja, who reached three figures on day one, continued a marathon knock that eventually lasted 422 balls and more than ten hours before he was eventually trapped lbw by Axar Patel.
By then, all-rounder Green, who began the series sidelined by injury, had departed having made 114 off 170, the pair sharing a 208-run stand, Australia’s second-highest ever partnership in India.
Spinner Ravi Ashwin finished with figures of six-for-91, but not before useful cameos from tailenders Nathan Lyon (34) and Todd Murphy (41) had helped Australia set the highest total achieved by either side in the series.
India are on a record run of 15 consecutive home Test series wins, having last tasted defeat when beaten 2-1 by England back in 2012.
In reply, openers Shubman Gil and Rohit Sharma navigated a ten-over spell late in the day to reach stumps on 36 without loss.