Sharma did exactly this and seemed to put the issue beyond doubt. At 330 for six, India required just 18 off 30 balls. Surely it was only a matter of time before India completed a famous victory. But now tempers became frayed. The appealing became more vociferous, almost rude, the pressure on the umpires was intense and the players too indulged in unbecoming behaviour. Sharma and Tim Zoehrer were involved in unseemly gestures that were out of place on a cricket field.
If the Aussie plan was to rattle the nerves of the Indians they succeeded to an extent. Sharma and More were out in the same Bright over, leaving the Indians at 334 for eight. Suddenly the Australians had a sniff of victory. Shastri was batting in exemplary fashion at one end, farming the strike expertly and keeping the singles and twos coming. But now he had only Yadav and Maninder for company and India were still 14 away from the target with just over three overs left.
The spectators by this time were on their feet cheering and shouting themselves hoarse. Even oldtimers in the press box were engulfed by the pulsating events on the field as they scribbled down hastily on their notebooks. Yadav brought the house down by hitting Matthews for a six but in the following over he was bowled off his pads by Bright. India were 344 for nine with eight balls remaining and by this time we all knew we were looking distinctly at an unbelievable denouement - a tie!
Image: Former Australian captain Allan Border & Ravi Shastri addressing a press conference in March 2001 before the Tied Test rematch featuring all the players who played in the only the second Tied Test in cricket history at Chennai in September 1986.