Test cricket is indeed the real test. Today the Indian team registered itself in the echelons of history with the fabulous draw at SCG. This draw can be the character defining moment of this cricket team.
Starting the day 5 at 98 for two, india needed 309 runs to win. Not many thought India would survive the day, let alone have a shot of winning the game. And it seemed that prediction would come true with stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane falling early to Nathan Lyon.
Rishabh Pant, who was hit on the elbow in the first innings and didn’t keep wickets during Australia’s innings, was promoted — walking out to bat instead of Hanuma Vihari.
Pant started slowly scoring only 5 off 30-odd balls. However, what followed was nothing short of incredible. Pant cut loose, taking a special liking to the off-spin of Lyon. The left-hander went from strength to strength with Pujara giving him able support from the other end.
Just when it seemed Pant would reach his hundred and India would take control of the match, he fell three short of it, trying to take on Lyon again.
Pujara battled on but was castled by a brilliant delivery from Josh Hazlewood. India’s hopes faded with Pujara gone and Vihari in massive discomfort after suffering a hamstring injury very early in his innings.
India’s options were limited after Ravindra Jadeja’s fractured thumb. So, out strode Ravichandran Ashwin, and along with Vihari began a ‘blockathon’ that would will down in history for its pure grit and determination.
The duo played 258 balls to defy the Australians and take India to a memorable draw.
Sachin Tendulkar in his tweet says “Really proud of #TeamIndia! Special mention to @RishabhPant17, @cheteshwar1, @ashwinravi99 and @Hanumavihari for the roles they’ve played brilliantly. Any guesses in which dressing room the morale will be high?