Plot watch - The Maxwell agenda
Ishant Sharma was fired up in the morning session and let the verbals fly a bit, but once Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh began their grind, things quietened down. Glenn Maxwell had probably annoyed India by appearing to make light of Virat Kohli's shoulder injury on the third day, and, predictably, he was greeted with a volley of comments and appeals. Maxwell reacted, and the umpired had to have a word with him. It was all rather unnecessary, as the game was dead by then, but India seemed to want to get Maxwell out before shaking hands on a draw. Given Maxwell and Kohli's reputations, expect that subplot to continue in Dharamsala.
The Ranchi pitch was like a magician who had put out an attractive flyer and got the media to hype him up without ever watching him perform. When the show began, the magician had few tricks. Today, after Ravindra Jadeja got one to turn out of the rough and across Steven Smith's front pad, bowling him, some were already writing Australia off. But Shaun Marsh showed that the much-talked-about rough outside the left-handers' off stump was a challenge but not an insurmountable one. He survived 51 balls from Jadeja before edging one to short leg. In retrospect, this pitch will be remembered as one that produced five compelling days of cricket.
India's first review of the day was so poor, even Virat Kohli giggled at it when he saw the replay on the big screen. Umesh Yadav's delivery to Shaun Marsh had not just pitched well outside leg stump but was missing off stump too.
India's next review was much closer. Handscomb was given not out off Umesh, and the replay showed the ball was clipping the top of the stumps, but not by enough to reverse the on-field decision.