From taking body blows to having to listen to the trademark Aussie constant on-field sledging and chatter, to having to endure the ball being thrown at their bodies by close in fielders, Ashwin and Vihari batted for a combined 289 deliveries to make sure India didn’t go down.
In fact there was a time when Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara were batting when it looked like India might just get to the target of 407 for a win. Subsequently, Pant an Pujara were dismissed and Vihari picked up a hamstring injury and was just unable to run. India then shifted to plan B – Grinding it out for a draw.
On one occasion though Ashwin gave it back to the Aussies. Australia skipper Tim Paine, who incidentally dropped as many as three catches in the Indian second innings was heard telling Ashwin – “I can’t wait to bring you to the Gabba Ash, tell you what”. Some other Aussie close in fielder was heard going “Woohoo” after that. This was after Ashwin pulled out of a delivery while facing Nathan Lyon, because he wasn’t ready. The Australians were not happy about that.
Ashwin though gave it right back to Paine saying – “Just like we want to get you to India. It will be your last series”
Watch the video here:
Conversation between Tim Paine and Ravi Ashwin.Paine: “Can’t wait for the Gabba Test”.Ravi Ashwin: “Can’t wait… https://t.co/A7SGC87UNw
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) 1610347520000
The match saw the Australians trying everything to get under Ashwin and Vihari’s skin to unsettle them. There were quite a few instances during the match when Ashwin had to pull away just before a ball was bowled due to the constant chirping from the Australians behind the stumps.
Ashwin and Vihari stitched a 62-run partnership, but more importantly survived 289 balls combined in the final two sessions to churn out a hard fought draw in Sydney. Ashwin made 39* off 128 balls, while Vihari finished with 23* off 161 balls.
Overall, this match, apart from India’s great rearguard effort will also be remembered for the complaints that were registered for alleged racial abuse by the Indian cricketers and also the trademark Aussie tactics to unsettle opposition batsmen, including constant chatter, balls being thrown at Indian batsmens’ bodies by close in fielders, Smith cuffing up Rishabh Pant’s guard mark during a drinks break and the Indian players standing tall despite multiple injuries. Ashwin had to take quite a few blows to his body, Viharu batted with a hamstring injury, Ravindra Jadeja was ready to come out and bat, despite having a dislocated left thumb.
The 4-match series is still level at 1-1 and the fourth and last Test which could well be the series decider will be played in Brisbane, starting January 15, Friday.