Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was at the thick of the battle against Australia on day five of the third Test in Sydney as the visitors pulled off a miraculous draw. India managed to keep the series alive by securing a memorable draw at the SCG. Ravichandran Ashwin, whose partnership helped the cause, conceded that the feeling was yet to sink in.
Ravichandran Ashwin arrived at the crease when India lost Cheteshwar Pujara and Australia had more than 30 overs to bowl India out. While the 34-year old off-spinner survived several near misses and copped blows, it did not perturb his determination to see India to safety. Along with Hanuma Vihari, he faced 258 balls to secure an epic draw.
Ravichandran Ashwin revealed that their efforts so special that he and Hanuma Vihari did not know what to make of it. The off-spinner claimed that they had entered a zone of blocking out the bowlers repeatedly and despite a sore back, Ashwin wanted to replicate Faf Du Plessis’ efforts of 2012 Adelaide when the South African faced 376 balls to steer the Proteas to a draw.
“Entirely, I cannot explain how I am feeling but I think it was really, really special. In fact, both of us went numb and blank for a while, we did not celebrate towards the end because we did not know what to make of it. We were so channelised for taking on certain bowlers and keep blocking. Last night, when I went to bed with a sore back, I was just telling myself that ‘if I can just keep dead batting like how Faf Du Plessis did in Adelaide, I can give myself a good chance,” Ashwin said as quoted by ANI News.
I feel Rishabh and Pujara laid the foundation for us: Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin was all praises for Rishabh Pant, who showed intent by hammering 97 runs while batting at number five. The 34-year old underlined that it handed the visitors hope of something miraculous and credited Pant and Pujara for setting the base for them to survive.
“Today morning the way Rishabh Pant played, it made everybody hopeful of something that was fantastic that could have been achieved but nevertheless I feel Rishabh and Pujara laid the foundation for us to see through the last two-and-a-half-hour,” he added.