In the most dreadful times with injuries surrounding the Indian Team like a magnet, it was Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin who batted their hearts out for almost four hours to draw the third Test of the 2020-21 Border – Gavaskar Trophy At the Sydney Cricket Ground.
India started off the day with Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease not long until Rahane lost his wicket in the 2nd over of the day. But little did anyone know the team management had a tactical plan to send Rishabh Pant ahead of Hanuma Vihari at five which did wonders for the Indian team as Pant blasted his way off to 97 in 118 balls after being 5 off 34 deliveries. Pant’s fiery knock changed the thought process within the Indian camp as at one point it looked like they’re going out for the win until both Pant and Pujara lost their wickets in quick succession.
The quick fall of wickets brought Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari at the crease, but another injury struck the Indian side as Vihari pulled his hamstring while attempting a run. Tough Vihari was injured, unable to run he continued to bat as India now looked to play out for the draw. In the end, it yielded results as both Ravichandran Ashwin and Vihari batted 42 overs to draw the Test at Sydney.
The atmosphere in the dressing room is electric – Ravichandran Ashwin
Post the match, Ravichandran Ashwin described the atmosphere in the dressing room as electric as In Test cricket the Indian team never gets many draws. He also described facing Pat Cummins in the penultimate over was tough given that he was bowling in a different league altogether.
“The atmosphere in the dressing room is electric. In Test cricket we don’t get a lot of draws, it was a really exciting last session. I just went to Pujara and told him, you sold me down the river me in both the innings. Cummins was bowling in a different league altogether. There was a bit of double bounce, so it was difficult against Cummins.”
He further added how facing Bumrah in the nets is not easy. On the other hand, Ashwin spoke about how he had been batting well in the nets and it was just about he started spending more time in the middle. The off-break bowler lauded Rishabh Pant for the gutsy knock of 97 runs which indeed set the stance for the Indian Team.
Ravichandran Ashwin said Vihari’s 161 ball knock is as good as a hundred given the circumstances of the match and also added how he has performed every single time with the bat at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“I think facing Bumrah in the nets is not easy. We have bowlers who can bowl in the 150s. I have been batting well in the nets, so it was great to spend some time in the middle. Chasing 400 in Sydney was never going to be easy, as the ball was going up and down. That knock by Pant set us up. After Pujara and Pant’s wicket and with Vihari injured, it was going to be difficult to go for the win.”
“Touring Australia is never easy so Vihari can be proud of himself. It was a knock equal to scoring a hundred. I was just telling the batting coach during the lunch break that I have never left the SCG without a fifty, this is a venue where I have done well with the bat and today’s innings is right up there.”