India's Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin celebrate their partnership at SCG.(Reuters)
India's Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin celebrate their partnership at SCG.(Reuters)

'I felt I owed team that innings because of trust they had shown in me': Hanuma Vihari recalls Sydney heroics

India vs Australia: Vihari had suffered a hamstring injury but he needed to bat on for over 40 overs along with Ashwin to save the Test for his team in Sydney.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2021 03:29 PM IST

India batsman Hanuma Vihari recalled the role he played in the Sydney Test with the bat that saved the series for his team. India were 272/5 while chasing a target of over 400 on the final day. Ravindra Jadeja had suffered an injury and it seemed he would not be able to bat which meant R Ashwin and Vihari were the only two batsmen left.

Vihari had suffered a hamstring injury but he needed to bat on for over 40 overs to save the Test for his team and ensure that the series remains levelled at 1-1.

Vihari and Ashwin stitched a 67-run partnership and pushed the game for a draw. Speaking on the heroics on Star Sports' 'Follow the Blues' chat show, Vihari said that he felt he had responsibility for the team because of the trust they had shown on him.

"Ashwin and I never realised what we were doing – in terms of how big an achievement it was. He and I batted for about 45 overs against all odds. To be able to survive on a Day 5 pitch against that bowling attack," he said.

"To be able to being in the present helped me because I realised that I had an injury, and I can’t run. The only thing I could do from that situation was to bat time and cut down the overs and make sure we drew that game.

"That was the only thing on my mind, playing for my spot was never my intention. I was only batting according to the situation of the game. I somehow felt that I owed the team that innings because the trust they have showed in me in the first couple of games, and then they gave me an opportunity in the third game as well.

"So, I somehow felt in the tea break that I owe them big time and I am happy I could do it. Ashwin and I spoke like in three or four languages when we were playing. It was nice, it was a very unique experience to be able to bat with him. Basically, we share a good rapport, both on and off the field.

"But to be able to build a partnership with him, not in terms of runs, but in terms of balls… Actually, he was batting from one end, he was facing Lyon pretty comfortably, so that somehow made things easier. I was able to face the fast bowlers with ease, so it somehow made the equation a little simpler for us and we were communicating well between the overs," Vihari signed off.

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