Pakistan v Australia Test - Men's

Top 5 in 25: Great Australian draws

Take a look back on Australia's most courageous drawn Tests from the past 25 years

Martin Smith

12 October 2018, 12:24 AM AEST

While the aim of any cricket team is to win, sometimes you can get a taste of that winning feeling just by staving off defeat.

New Australian era dawns with fifth day heroics

Australia's defiant performance in Dubai, led by Usman Khawaja's brilliant knock of 141, ensured they will head to Abu Dhabi all square despite being outplayed for the majority of the match.

Khawaja's innings and the support of his teammates will go down as one of Australia's most famous draws, when simply not losing the match felt almost as good as a victory.

2018 v Pakistan, Dubai

Pakistan bossed this Test match from the moment they won the toss on a lifeless batting surface and secured a 280-run lead on the first innings when Australia's spin demons saw them lose 10-60 on the third day.

Khawaja's career-defining ton saved Australia in Dubai // Getty
Khawaja's career-defining ton saved Australia in Dubai // Getty

And when the tourists lost three wickets without scoring late on day four, it appeared to be only a matter of time before Pakistan's bowlers would finish the job on the final day.

But a career-defining century from Usman Khawaja, a fighting 72 from debutant Travis Head and some late defiance from skipper Tim Paine ensured the two-match series was still alive heading into the second Test in Abu Dhabi.

2017 v India, Ranchi

With an already fiery series locked at 1-all, the third Test appeared destined for a high-scoring draw when India batted for more than 200 overs in their first innings, grinding out a total of 603 to secure a 152-run lead before declaring just before stumps on the fourth day.

Australia's batting heroes in Ranchi // AAP
Australia's batting heroes in Ranchi // AAP

But two quick wickets before the close and another two the following morning, including in-form skipper Steve Smith, had India in the box seat for a famous win.

It was left to the unlikely pair of Shaun Marsh and Test rookie Peter Handscomb to save their side, the duo surviving 62 tense overs in a defiant partnership that kept the series alive heading to the fourth Test in Dharamshala.

2011 v Sri Lanka, Colombo

Leading 1-0 in the series, Australia were in danger of letting a rare series win in Asia slip when they conceded a 157-run deficit on the first innings following a brilliant hundred from Sri Lankan allrounder Angelo Mathews.

Michael Clarke celebrates his series-sealing draw in Colombo // Getty
Michael Clarke celebrates his series-sealing draw in Colombo // Getty

And the match was delicately poised when century-maker Phillip Hughes fell on the fifth morning, leaving Australia four down and leading by just 63 runs, to give Sri Lanka a chance of running through the lower order and pushing for a series-levelling victory.

But skipper Michael Clarke, in his first series as captain, and in-form veteran Mike Hussey showed the composure that was required to post a 176-run partnership that saved the match and won Australia the series.

2005 v England, Manchester

In the middle of one of the most disappointing series of his career, Ricky Ponting produced what he rated his greatest Test century to stave off a rampant England and add another chapter to a memorable Ashes campaign.

Starting the day with 399 runs to win or 98 overs to survive, the Australians were on track for victory despite the loss of top-order wickets, especially when Michael Clarke and Ponting shared an enterprising 81-run stand.

Steve Harmison stares down Australia's human road block // Getty
Steve Harmison stares down Australia's human road block // Getty

Ponting was flawless in bringing up his century from 169 balls but was unshaken by the emotion of the milestone, batting for almost seven hours in total as wickets continued to fall around him, proving to be a one-man stumbling block for England's bowlers.

It appeared his effort would be in vain when he was eventually strangled down the leg side for a brilliant 156, but Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath blocked out the last 24 deliveries to seal a draw and keep the series locked at 1-all.

1995 v England, Sydney

In the third Test of the 1994-95 Ashes series, Australia were on the back foot after they were skittled for just 116 in their first innings, thanks to a six-wicket haul from paceman Darren Gough.

Set an unlikely 449 to win and with almost five sessions to bat on a wearing SCG pitch, the Aussies got their salvage mission off to the perfect start when openers Mark Taylor and Michael Slater survived until stumps on day four. They both pushed on to centuries the following day and, with rain forecast, the hosts looked on track for a draw to preserve their 2-0 series lead.

Slater's ton was crucial in Australia securing a draw // Getty
Slater's ton was crucial in Australia securing a draw // Getty

But England's bowlers used the damp conditions to their advantage to rip through the middle order, taking seven wickets for just 84 runs to leave just Australia's tail between them and victory.

However, their nemesis Shane Warne did the job with the bat alongside his spin twin Tim May, their pair blocking out more than 20 overs between them to secure a draw.