'Took an injection, couldn't feel my left leg at all': Hanuma Vihari describes batting through pain in Sydney
- Moments into his innings, Hanuma Vihari ran a single and grimaced in pain, and it was at that moment that everyone knew he had done something to his hamstring.
India batsman Hanuma Vihari, who was responsible for India's famous draw in the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, revealed that his left leg had gone completely numb after tearing a hamstring while batting in the fourth innings of the match. With India needing 407 to win and the score at 250/4, Vihari walked out to bat, and with R Ashwin, added an unbeaten 62-run stand that ensured India escaped with a draw.
However, just moments into his innings, Vihari ran a single and grimaced in pain. It was at that moment that everyone knew he had done something to his hamstring. It soon became evident as Vihari stopped running quick singles and the ones he took, the batsman appeared in pain while doing so. Vihari was aware that he couldn't afford to retire hurt, such was his character.
"I got a painkiller injection. And got taped up. In my mind, I knew this is the innings I have to give it back to the team. I was thinking in my mind I have to do something and show the character and grit and determination. That I have to go and bat for two-and-a-half hours," he told ESPNCricinfo.
"In the tea break I took the injection. After tea, it stopped hurting me but I felt a weakness in my right leg. I couldn't feel my right leg at all. The numbness of the painkiller meant I didn't have any pain when standing, but I couldn't even feel my leg. And then when I ran it hurt."
Vihari's torn hamstring added to India's growing list of injuries. After Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, Vihari was India's fifth big injury concern, but he batted on along with Ashwin to save an incredible Test for India. When India lost Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara in quick succession, India still had a chance to go for the kill, but Vihari's injury shut it. Having said that, the batsman still had a job to do for his team and he did not disappoint.
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"I knew it then and there that it was the end of my series. I knew it wasn't a cramp or anything minor. I knew straightaway that I had torn my hamstring. Because I have done that before, I knew how it feels. I couldn't walk or run. I knew it was a tear," he said.
"I knew whatever contribution I could make, whatever impact I had to have, it has to be in this time. In one way, the injury helped me with clarity of mind. I knew I just have to play close to the body and not try anything fancy because I am not looking for runs and I can't run anyway. It made things simpler for me to just be there and block balls that come my way."
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