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"We were counting the number of balls left" - Ajinkya Rahane after Sydney Test

The final moments of the Sydney Test.
The final moments of the Sydney Test.
Modified 11 Jan 2021, 16:10 IST

Skipper Ajinkya Rahane has revealed that the Indian dressing room was on tenterhooks during the last few moments of the Sydney Test. According to Rahane, the squad were counting the balls left in the last 5 to 6 overs of the game.

India pulled off a memorable draw against Australia in the Sydney Test on Monday. Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari valiantly battled respective injuries, body blows and excessive Aussie banter on a 5th-day pitch. The duo blunted almost 300 deliveries to take India from 272-5 to a final score of 334-5.

Talking in the post-match press conference, Ajinkya Rahane stated that despite their anxiety, the squad had full belief in their batsmen on the pitch.

"Especially the last five to six overs, we were quite numb. We were counting the number of balls left. Apart from that, we all were sure about Ashwin's ability with the bat. Vihari was batting really well throughout the series but he could not get the big scores. Today, he showed he can bat really well. Our message at tea was to bat one ball at a time and not think too far ahead," said Ajinkya Rahane.

Ashwin put in his best performance of the series with the bat. He defended with conviction and even took on his opposite number, Nathan Lyon, with multiple boundaries.

Vihari, at the other end, was hobbling owing to a hamstring injury. However, his batting remained unaffected as he showcased impregnable technique first and then flaunted some stylish backfoot shots late in the innings.

Whatever happened to Siraj and Bumrah was not acceptable at all: Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane and the Indian squad had faith in Ashwin and Vihari.
Ajinkya Rahane and the Indian squad had faith in Ashwin and Vihari.

The Australian team wasn't the only opponent India had to contend with during the 3rd Test. On the 3rd and 4th days of the Test, India's Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah faced racial slurs from some members of the SCG crowd. Ajinkya Rahane touched upon the issue, saying the incidents were 'not acceptable'.

"We have lodged a complaint and officials are looking into the matter now. I spoke to the match referee and umpires about what had happened. It was not acceptable at all, it should not happen anywhere in the world. We were really upset about it," said Ajinkya Rahane.

The series is tied at 1-1 and nothing separates the two rivals at the moment. India will next face Tim Paine's side in the series decider in Brisbane which starts on January 15th. Considered one of the fastest pitches in Australia, the Gabba will host the Indians' depleted lineup in one of their toughest assignments yet.

Published 11 Jan 2021, 16:10 IST
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