All-round Ryan Harris stars in drawn Test

Ryan Harris roars in appeal Getty Images

Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris pitched in with a strong all-round performance as Australia drew the third Test against India in Melbourne and reclaimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Australia's stand-in captain, Steven Smith, had earlier won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch that favoured batsmen from the first day itself.

The hosts suffered an early blow and lost in-form opener David Warner in just the second over of the Test, but India's bowlers struggled to breach the defences of the top order thereafter.

Chris Rogers and Shane Watson scored 57 and 52 respectively and an in-form Smith thumped yet another century but fell just eight short of a double ton. Harris provided able support to Smith from the other end with a well-made 74 from just 88 balls.

The impressive show with the bat, helped the hosts score 530 in their first innings. India's batsmen, who've showed glimpses of form throughout the series, made a strong start again.

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were the tourists' stand-put performers. The duo put on an impressive 262-run stand for the fourth wicket. Kohli finally was dismissed for 169 and Rahane for 147. Their heroics helped India post 465 in their innings, 65 runs adrift from the Australian total.

Harris was instrumental with the ball and accounted for the wickets of Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, MS Dhoni and R Ashwin.

Australia's top-five batsmen came good in the second innings as well to drill home the advantage. Shaun Marsh was run-out for 99 and Rogers scored 69 to help their side score 318 in the second innings, and set India 384 to win the Test.

India lost wickets regularly in the second innings with Australia's fast bowlers Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood picking up two each. Dhoni and Ashwin managed to keep their wicket intact in the end to complete a draw.

"India played well, but we have got the series. The wicket did not deteriorate much and they had some strong batting, so we wanted to take it away from them. It was about keeping the series safe, rather than Shaun's hundred. We came close here but it wasn't enough. We are looking forward to make it 3-0 in Sydney. Rhino was outstanding with the bat and with the ball, helped us build up a strong total in the first innings," Smith said.