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I and R Ashwin were communicating in three to four languages: Hanuma Vihari recalls heroic partnership at SCG

New Delhi, January 27: India batsman Hanuma Vihari etched his name in the history books after his resilient knock against Australia on the final day of Sydney Test. Along with all-rounder R Ashwin, Vihari - despite suffering a hamstring pull - batted out 258 balls to help India walk away with an epic draw and head into the final Test at the Gabba, with the series level at 1-1.

It was the heroics at Sydney Cricket Ground which boosted the Ajinkya Rahane-led side's morale as they went on breaching fort Gabba in the fourth and final Test by chasing down a mammoth 328 in the fourth innings. India thus went on winning the four-Test series and retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Due to his injury, Vihari couldn't participate in the fourth Test but was proud of the way his team created history in Brisbane.

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The Andhra Pradesh batsman has recalled his heroic partnership with Ashwin and speaking exclusively on Star Sports' show FOLLOW THE BLUES, he said: "I and Ashwin never realised what we were doing - in terms of how big an achievement it was. He and I batted for about 45 overs against all odds. To be able to survive on a Day 5 pitch against that bowling attack... To be able to being in the present helped me because I realised that I had an injury, and I can't run.

"The only thing I could do from that situation was to bat time and cut down the overs and make sure we drew that game. That was the only thing on my mind, playing for my spot was never my intention. I was only batting according to the situation of the game."

The right-handed batsman said he owed that innings the team for showing faith in him after dismal shows in the first two games, "I somehow felt that I owed the team that innings because the trust they have shown in me in the first couple of games, and then they gave me an opportunity in the third game as well. So, I somehow felt in the tea break that I owe them big time and I am happy I could do it."

Vihari also revealed that he and Ashwin were speaking in three or four languages into the middle to prevent the Aussies from understanding what they were actually talking about which was fun for the Indians and irritating for the hosts as they couldn't understand a word uttered by the two. With Ashwin countering Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon comfortably made the job easier for Vihari.

"Ashwin and I spoke like in three or four languages when we were playing. It was nice, it was a very unique experience to be able to bat with him. Basically, we share a good rapport, both on and off the field. But to be able to build a partnership with him, not in terms of runs, but in terms of balls... Actually, he was batting from one end, he was facing Lyon pretty comfortably so that somehow made things easier. I was able to face the fast bowlers with ease, so it somehow made the equation a little simpler for us and we were communicating well between the overs."

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Story first published: Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 17:00 [IST]
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