SYDNEY, Jan.11 (Reuters) – Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane has said his side’s draw in the third test against Australia looked like a win after the touring team pulled off a fine escape at Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday.
Paralyzed Hanuma Vihari and bruised Ravichandran Ashwin thwarted Australia’s formidable attack in the past three hours to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat on a dramatic final day. although winning a test match, “Rahane, leading the pack while regular skipper Virat Kohli is absent on paternity leave, told reporters.
“When you come overseas and play a game like this, it’s special, it’s as good as winning.”
After an early fall from Rahane, Rishabh Pant’s 97 counterattack in a 148-race pit with Cheteshwar Pujara, who completed 6,000 tries en route to a hardened 77, fueled India’s pursuit.
After their departure, it was up to Vihari and Ashwin to thwart the same Australian attack that had contested 36 points with India in the opening test in Adelaide.
To complicate matters for India, Vihari pulled his hamstrings and hobbled for the remainder of the game with a thigh attached.
Ashwin, promoted to batting lineup after Ravindra Jadeja broke her thumb, took several hits to the arms and body, but fought bravely.
The duo beat Australia in a fierce defiance of the rearguard spread over 43 times to keep the series tied 1-1 ahead of the final game in Brisbane.
“Everyone contributed but credit for these two guys who hit over two and a half hours until the end,” said Rahane.
“We were actually counting deliveries in the last five to six overs.
“We were all sure of Ashwin’s ability as a batsman. Vihari has hit really well throughout the series although he didn’t get a big score.
“Our message over tea was’ just hang in there, play one ball at a time, one at a time. Let’s not think too far, “added Rahane.