‘Can’t wait for you to come to India as well… that would be your last series.’
Australia captain Tim Paine’s efforts to distract Ravichandran Ashwin on the fifth and final day of the third Test in Sydney on Monday failed terribly as the India off-spinner gave him a befitting reply.
Unable to take wickets, Australia skipper Paine was trying his best to distract Ashwin and he was caught on stump mic as saying: “Can’t wait for you to reach Gabba, Ash.”
Ashwin immediately responded: “Can’t wait for you to come to India as well… that would be your last series.”
Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari showed great resilience with the bat on a fifth day SCG wicket to help India pull off an amazing fightback to draw the third Test, and keep the four-match series level at 1-1.
Vihari batted with great determination despite battling with a hamstring injury, while Ashwin refused to throw in the towel despite being struck on the body a few times by the bouncers from the Australian fast bowlers.
Vihari finished unbeaten on 23 from 161 balls, while Ashwin was unbeaten on 39 from 128 balls as the duo were involved in a 50-run stand for the sixth wicket from 247 balls to keep the Aussies at bay.
Rishabh Pant had briefly raised India’s hopes of pushing for an unlikely victory in the morning session when he stroked a brilliant 97 from 118 balls, hitting 12 fours and three sixes. At the other end, Cheteshwar Pujara was as solid as ever, scoring 77 from 205 balls with the duo putting on 148 runs for the fourth wicket to rally India after the early dismissal of captain Ajinkya Rahane (4) in the morning session.
“Our talk this morning was all about showing character, fight till the end and not thinking of the result,” said Rahane.
“A special mention to Vihari and Ashwin, the way they batted and showed their character. Looking forward to Brisbane now.”
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