Hanuma Vihari said that Ravichandran Ashwin was guiding him like an elder brother when both were battling to save the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday.
“Batting that [last] session was a real experience for me. It was something you can only dream of: batting on a day five of a Test match; series is 1-1. If you can do it for the team, that satisfaction will slowly sink and then we will realise it how big an effort it was,” Vihari, who scored a dogged 23 off 161 balls while battling hamstring, told bcci.tv
“I was really happy, as an elder brother he [Ashwin] was communicating like whenever he felt that I was a bit loose, he was telling me [to] let us focus on one [ball] at a time. Take it as deep as possible, 10 balls at a time…it is really special,” he said.
Ashwin and Vihari scripted a gritty and unbeaten partnership of 62 runs in 264 deliveries. While the all-rounder scored a fabulous 39 off 128 balls, bearing shooting back pain, Vihari made an equally-tiring 23 off 161 deliveries.
Vihari said had Cheteshwar Pujara been there till the end, India might have won the game.
“Taking a draw out of it was a fabulous result for us. I felt like I was not injured and Pujju [Pujara] would have been there, we would have had a result, it would have been a fabulous win. But nonetheless 10 points out of this is a massive result for all of us,” he said.
Pujara scored 77 off 205 before getting out as the last Indian batsman, before Vihari and Ashwin ensured the draw.
The third Test ended in a thrilling draw on Monday as chasing a mammoth target of 407, India reached 334/5 batting for 131 overs before both the teams decided to shake hands on the final day of the match.
The four-match series is currently leveled at 1-1 with the final Test slated to start from Friday at The Gabba in Brisbane.