India drew the Sydney Test against Australia with Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari playing a blockathon innings. In the middle of their innings, Indian head coach Ravi Shastri asked Shardul Thakur to deliver a message to Hanuma Vihari who was playing with an injured hamstring in that particular innings.
The duo added 62* off 259 balls to save the match for their team on the final day of the Test match. In a special chat with Ravichandran Ashwin, Indian fielding coach R Sridhar mentioned the incident when Shardul Thakur did not pass on the message that Ravi Shastri asked him to.
Shardul Thakur didn’t obey Shastri’s message – R Sridhar
Recalling the moment Sridhar said “Ravi Shastri had a clear message. He called Shardul Thakur (and said) ‘Shardul, come here and tell them that I told this specifically.’ He (Shardul) was almost shivering. He said ‘ What should I say, sir?’ ‘Tell Ash, that I told him’, Shastri replied. ‘What should I tell him, sir?’, Thakur enquired.”
Ashwin then revealed the message which Shastri asked Shadul to pass onto the two of them. He said how the Indian head coach inspired Ashwin to face Nathan Lyon from one end and allow the pacers to bowl at Vihari from the other.
“Shastri said, ‘Ashwin should take care of this end, and Vihari should bat from the other end. Ashwin is the best batsman against Nathan Lyon in this entire team. So he should bat from this end. He has a huge stride which helps him negate spin so well. Vihari is managing Starc and Cummins really well, getting underneath those bouncers. So ask them to continue” Ashwin revealed.
The veteran off-spinner, Ashwin then revealed what Shardul Thakur said to him and Vihari during the drink break on the final day of the Sydney Test. Ashwin was unbeaten on 39 along with Vihari unbeaten on 23 as India pulled off a magnificent draw which allowed them to go to Brisbane on level terms. India then became the first team to beat Australia in Brisbane in 31 years to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
“Then out came Shardul, running out from the dressing room. He was catching his breath when he reached us. We were like: ‘Just say it man’, while drinking water. Shardul said: ‘They told me so many things from the dressing room’. Yes, please tell, (I said). ‘But I am not going to say any of it,” Shardul replied. “You guys are doing a great job. So please continue”.
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