Middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb stood tall in front of his wicket to help Australia draw the third Test at the JSCA International Complex, Ranchi that concluded on Monday.

The four-match Test series is level by 1-1 and thus, the fourth Test, to be held at Dharamsala on March 25-29, would be crucial for both the sides.

A determined pair of Handscomb (72*) and Shaun Marsh (53) helped Australia avoid a close defeat as they put a 124-run partnership stand for the fifth-wicket, second longest in the ongoing series after 199-run partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha.

The partnership came to rescue Australians after early blows on the fifth and final day of the Test as Australia appeared struggling at 83/4 earlier at lunch.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade (9*) was batting alongside Handscomb when the day concluded with Australia at 204/6.

"A pretty good test. Proud of the way the boys stuck it out. That's what we want to be. Resilient," Australian skipper Steve Smith said in the post-match ceremony.

Smith had scored exemplary knock of 178 runs (not out) in the first innings to propel the visitors to a strong total of 451 runs.

However, the 27-year-old was sent back to pavilion early in the second innings as Indian tweaker Ravindra Jadeja (4/54) dismissed him for just 21 runs.

Cheteshwar Pujara, who smashed 202 runs off 525 balls playing the record-longest Test innings, was bestowed with the Man Of The Match award.