Hanuma Vihari played a gritty unbeaten 23-run knock in India's second innings despite suffering a hamstring injury not long after arriving at the crease.
More than the runs he scored, it was the 161 deliveries he faced and his four-hour vigil at the crease that helped India secure a creditable draw.
During a discussion on the Sony Sports network, Sanjay Manjrekar and Ajit Agarkar shared their views about the fighting knock played by Hanuma Vihari.
Manjrekar started by pointing out that Vihari would have been under pressure while coming out to bat as he has not been amongst the runs this series, with his position in the team at stake.
He added that the hamstring injury the Andhra batsman suffered while running between the wickets compounded his challenges.
"Just imagine it was a career-saving knock for him. He knew that if he didn't score runs in this match, he might be dropped from the next match. And when he went in under pressure and the second new ball was also due, he injured his hamstring. So imagine what he might have been thinking that all the world's forces were against him," said Manjrekar.
Sanjay Manjrekar said that Hanuma Vihari's restraint had helped him bat the long hours.
"But in the end, he batted for four hours. So, you need to give credit to Hanuma Vihari. He is mild-natured but he was a symbol of patience," added Manjrekar.
Manjrekar also explained that Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin's defensive batting was a lesson for all the Indian batsmen for the Brisbane Test.
"Both Ashwin and Vihari showed one thing for the next Test match, that how you can defend. If you see Hanuma Vihari, he plays mostly on the back foot and stays inside the crease and doesn't come too far forward. And the manner in which Ashwin played Nathan Lyon, brilliant," stated Manjrekar.
Hanuma Vihari's bat did the talking: Ajit Agarkar
Ajit Agarkar was asked about Ravichandran Ashwin reacting to the Aussies chirping behind the wickets, while Hanuma Vihari was not even looking towards them.
The former Indian pacer responded that there was no need for Vihari to utter a word as his bat did all the talking.
"There is no need to react when you are doing the work with your bat. Some people like to talk while others do not. If it doesn't help someone's cricket, then he should stay quiet. And he did his job with the bat, so there was no need to talk as Australia came to know without that," said Agarkar.
Hanuma Vihari joined Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle with India needing to bat out more than 52 overs to secure a draw. He injured his hamstring while taking a quick single a few overs into his innings, and lost the company of Pujara soon thereafter.
However, he maintained his calm and composure as he played out the remaining 43 overs in the company of Ashwin to help India walk away with a memorable draw.
Published 11 Jan 2021, 21:32 IST