Australia captain Tim Paine put down a crucial catch of Hanuma Vihari during the closing stages of the Sydney Test on Monday.
In the 123rd over of the Indian innings, Mitchell Starc pitched one up outside off that seemed to swing a little away. Hanuma Vihari, who had been very watchful until that point, went at it hard and got a thick outside edge. Tim Paine dived to his right and went for a one-handed take, in front of first slip. He shelled the chance as Australia’s hopes of a win slipped further away.
Earlier in the day, Paine had also dropped Rishabh Pant off Nathan Lyon twice as the Indian wicket-keeper-batsman went on to smash 97 from 118 balls.
Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin dig in for India
In a valiant display of grit, determination and patience, Hanuma Vihari, batting with a hamstring injury, joined hands with Ravichandran Ashwin as India stonewalled towards a famous draw.
Hanuma Vihari was joined by Ashwin at the crease after India lost the massive wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara for 77. At the time of filing this report, the duo had taken India to 330 for 5 after 130 overs.
Hanuma Vihari faced 155 balls for his unbeaten 19, while Ravichandran Ashwin was unbeaten on 39 from 128 balls.
Earlier, in the day, Pant and Pujara ensured India stayed alive in the contest, adding 148 runs for the fourth wicket. Pant was sent into bat at number five after India lost skipper Ajinkya Rahane for 4 very early on Day 5.
The southpaw went after the Aussies, and played a brutal knock of 97 off 118 balls. Till the time he was at the crease, India’s hopes of a miraculous victory were alive.
However, once Pant perished, three short of a hundred, it was all about survival for India. Pujara’s dismissal for 77, cleaned up by a beauty from Josh Hazlewood, gave Australia the upper hand.
But Hanuma Vihari and Ashwin put up an excellent display of patience and grit to keep the Aussies at bay.Published 11 Jan 2021, 12:50 IST