Australian star batsman Steve Smith credited India for their strong performance with the bat on Day 5 of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Needing another 309 runs to win and 8 wickets in hand, the visitors managed to draw the game despite injury woes.

Rishabh Pant top scored with a fantastic 97 while Cheteshwar Pujara was instrumental in playing out a huge chunk of Day 5. Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin saw the rest of the day out, adding 62 runs from 256 balls.

Indian batsmen showed incredible grit and determination and did not let the Aussies make inroads into their lower order. Steve Smith lauded the Australian bowlers too for trying their level best to break through this Indian line up , but that was not to be.

India fought really hard. Our bowlers kept coming and coming, did their hardest today. On day three or four, we felt that a few kept low, few that bounced a bit more. But there was not much of it today. They fought really hard,” Smith said after the match.

Steve Smith finally returned to form after scoring a welcome hundred at home in the first innings and a well made 81 in the second innings. He revealed it was a special moment for him as it happened on his home ground, but his disappointed that his century was not enough to see his side winning at the SCG.

Speaking on his hundred he added: “Always means a lot when you score a hundred for your country. To be able to do that here on my home ground is pretty special. Doesn’t mean a lot now as we didn’t win the game.”

The fourth Test between India and Australia will be played at the GABBA in Brisbane from January 15.

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