Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah on Monday said he is 'extremely proud' of India's performance after the boys eked out a draw on the final day of the third Test against Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Monday.
Shah also reserved special praise for Rishabh Pant, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin.Taking to Twitter, Shah wrote,"'Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and cometh the team'. Extremely proud of #TeamIndia for putting up a fight on Day 5. Special mention to @RishabhPant17, @Hanumavihari, @cheteshwar1 & @ashwinravi99. Well done, guys! Hello Brisbane #AUSvsIND."
Former India great Sachin Tendulkar also reiterated Shah's sentiments and said he is proud of the team's performance.
"Really proud of #TeamIndia! Special mention to @RishabhPant17, @cheteshwar1, @ashwinravi99 and @Hanumavihari for the roles they've played brilliantly. Any guesses in which dressing room the morale will be high? #OneTeamOneCause #AUSvIND," he tweeted.
Batting out 131 overs -- the most India have batted in the fourth innings of a Test since 1980 -- showed exactly what Ashwin meant when he spoke about playing like true warriors at the end of the fourth day's play at the SCG.
A hamstring injury notwithstanding, Vihari hit an unbeaten 161-ball 23 while Ashwin hit 39 off 128 balls as the two defended away any hopes Australia had of registering a win. With an injured Ravindra Jadeja waiting in the pavilion, it was important for the two to ensure they saw India to the end and that is just what they did as the players shook hands with an over left.
But it all started in the morning when the team management decided to send in Rishabh Pant at the fall of stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane's wicket. With the game clearly in Australia's court, Pant decided to show why the team has backed him despite his inconsistent run.
A fearless brand of cricket from him suddenly saw India walking into the lunch break with the score on 206/3. With 201 needed and Pant on a roll, it suddenly looked like India was playing to go 2-1 up in the series. Credit must also be given to Cheteshwar Pujara as he kept the board ticking and didn't go into a shell.
But Nathan Lyon sending Pant back on 97 suddenly saw the Indian fans fear another collapse. But the out-of-form Vihari wasn't letting anybody down this time round. He first combined for a short partnership with Pujara and then after the latter's dismissal for 77, combined with Ashwin to see India home. The scoresheet might call this a draw, but both teams know that India will walk away with their heads held high. Not just that, they will walk onto The Gabba high on confidence after this inspiring effort.
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