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India vs Australia: Ashwin was standing up to bouncers because couldn't bend, his back was gone, reveals Vihari

India vs Australia: Ashwin was standing up to bouncers because couldnt bend, his back was gone, reveals Vihari
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India vs Australia: Ashwin was standing up to bouncers because couldn't bend, his back was gone, reveals Vihari 

Highlights

Hanuma Vihari has revealed why Ravichandran Ashwin, his batting partner in the iconic drawn Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), did not duck while facing the bouncers thrown at him by the Australian fast bowlers.

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Hanuma Vihari has revealed why Ravichandran Ashwin, his batting partner in the iconic drawn Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), did not duck while facing the bouncers thrown at him by the Australian fast bowlers.

Vihari and Ashwin shared an unbeaten partnership of 62 off 259 balls for the sixth wicket and helped India draw the Sydney Test. In the partnership, Ashwin contributed 39 from 128 balls, Vihari scored 20 runs from 130 deliveries.

Recollecting their stand on the final day of the third Test in Sydney, Vihari said, "Funny thing happened, I asked Ashwin if he could flex his knees a little so that he could bend. And he said 'if I bend my knees, I can't bat because my back is gone'. That's why he was standing up to the bouncers.

On a serious note, the way he batted out was superb. Because of his spasm, he couldn't sit down, he stood throughout the innings. While he was starting to bat on Day 5, he was always standing in the dressing room as well. So that was his situation and to bat out for 4 hours is a compliment to his grit and determination."

Following the dismissals of Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara, Vihari himself had a few struggles en route his 62-run stand with Ashwin. The middle-order batsman struggled with a hamstring injury during the innings, while Ashwin had a bad back that did not allow him to even sit during the lunch and tea breaks.

It was later revealed that Vihari and Ashwin had taken heavy doses of painkillers to continue their act that rescued India at the SCG as the touring side pulled off a draw when the game initially looked to be going towards Australia's way.

In the same interview, Vihari also stated that his communication with Ashwin helped him through the second new ball that Australia took when around 17 overs were left on the final day.

"The only thing that helped us was they bowled a lot of overs. But I wouldn't say they were tired. The close-in fielders don't help as well. You're always under pressure. Only a small mistake and you're gone. But like I said, as I was not able to run, I will play as close to the body as possible. I am not looking for runs. So the basics helped there. The technique which I developed over the years helped me. That defensive technique helped me.

Ashwin was also communicating in different languages if you could hear. Like he was talking to me in Tamil, Telugu, trying to make sure we survive. It's important to communicate as well. Sometimes, we are scoring runs, you'll be in your own zone. But when you're looking to survive, that's where the help came. Ash did that brilliantly with all his experience," he added.

At the end of the SCG Test, the Border Gavaskar Trophy was levelled at 1-1 before the Indian team breached Australia's fortress at the Gabba to secure the series 2-1. India won the fourth and final Test in Brisbane despite fielding a lesser experienced side as most of their players were injured. With the likes of Washington Sundar, T. Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj, and Shubman Gill – all made their Test debut on this tour – and one-Test Shardul Thakur, Ajinkya Rahane-led India handed Australia their first Test loss in as long as 32 years at the Gabba.

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