'I felt I owed team that innings because of trust they had shown in me': Hanuma Vihari recalls Sydney heroics
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.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Former England captains Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook have criticised the pitch in the third Test.
- A case in point is his last innings in Test cricket when he scored a gritty 96 in the second innings on a vicious turner in Bengaluru. His efforts went in vain as India lost the match and the series to Pakistan.
- Ind vs Eng: England got knocked out of contention for WTC final in June with their 10-wicket triumph in the day-night third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
- India vs England, 3rd Test: He was awarded the man of the match award for his spectacular performance against England in his home ground.
- “I think we need to stand up and take notice of what Ashwin has done. In Tests, he is a modern-day legend. As a captain, I am so pleased he is in my team,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
- This is a man who has been the fastest in the world to reach 200, 250 and 350 Test wickets, and yet derided for being someone who thrives only on home conditions.
- Ind vs Eng: The visitors were bundled out for 112 and 81 in consecutive days as India completed a 10-wicket win to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series. A total of 17 wickets fell on the second day.
- Ind vs Eng: England had registered their previous lowest-total against India back in 1971 at the Oval. BS Chandrashekhar scalped 6 wickets to restrict Ray Illingworth-led England for 101 in the second innings.