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Recalling his heroics at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) against Australia in the third Test, India batsman Hanuma Vihari said he owed his team that innings because of all the trust they showed in him and provided him with opportunity despite failing in previous matches. Vihari, who was going through a lean patch, put on a brilliant fight as he played 161 balls and formed a game-changing partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin to deny Australia a win in the third Test. “Me 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,” Vihari said.

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“To be able to survive on a Day 5 pitch against that bowling attack… To be able to be in the present helped me because I realised that I had an injury, and I can’t run,” Vihari said on Star Sports show ‘Follow The Blues.’

“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.

“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,” he added.

After the conclusion of the third Test, it was revealed that Vihari batted with a Grade 2 hamstring tear to script a memorable draw in Sydney.

Subsequently, Vihari was ruled out of the fourth Test, which India won and sealed the series 2-1.

Vihari also revealed that he and Ashwin communicated in “three or four languages” during their innings.

“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,” Vihari said.

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“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 (Nathan) 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,” he said.

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