Team India's middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari has said that the Indian team never spoke about 36 all out after the first Test in Adelaide. He added that it was a freak inning and felt that it would never happen again. During the chat with ESPNcricinfo, Vihari spoke about the Sydney Test and how the opportunity of winning the Test was missed. Read more – Umpires told us we can walk off, but Ajju bhai said we won't leave: Siraj
"If you look at the first session and most part of the second session, we were looking good for a win. The way Rishabh and Pujara played. To be honest, once they got out, I don't think a win was a possibility. Even before my injury, Ash (Ashwin) was struggling with his back, Jadeja could have played only a few overs if needed. The draw came in when we knew that Ash couldn't run, and then when my hamstring injury happened. We knew we just had to bat out time. And it is not an easy task to bat out 43 overs. Australia, day five, against that attack," ESPNCricinfo quoted Vihari as saying.
"We batted one ball at a time, one over at a time, me and Ash. We had a conversation every over about what we needed to do. The strategy also helped. We got messages from outside but we had already decided that he was going to face Lyon and I would face the fast bowlers. One he was batting well against Lyon and also I couldn't stretch against the spinner with my hamstring. It panned out well. He was facing Lyon with ease on a day-five pitch, and I was pretty comfortable against the fast bowlers," he added.
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Despite suffering from a hamstring injury, Vihari helped India save the Test match, scoring unbeaten 23 runs off 161 balls. Owing to this injury, he was ruled out of the fourth Test match.
"Two feelings came to mind. One was pain, the other was relief. The pain was there and sigh of relief that I could do the job for the team. It was a sweet pain. The pain was all worth it at the end of the day. If I hadn't been able to save the match, it would have hurt more. But because we saved the Test, the pain was not so painful," said Vihari.
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"I hardly had any sleep. Again, with pain. One thing was pain and the other thing was I was happy and overwhelmed with the respect and love I got on the internet, in the messages I got. I think I slept for one hour and got up again at 6 in the morning. That is the kind of feeling I got. I would say for all the years of hard work I had done in first-class cricket, where there are no people watching you play and you have to go through the grind and struggle and to have 1.3 billion watching back home and all the people in the world watching you save a Test match. That was the thought that came into my mind. Real satisfaction of going through the grind in the first-class arena and then achieving this, the satisfaction was really amazing," he further added.
When asked about the 36 all-out in the first Test at Adelaide, Vihari said, "After the Adelaide Test, you won't believe, we as a team we never spoke about the game. We only felt that it has never happened before, I don't think it will ever happen again. It was a freak inning. So let's move on and let's look at it as a three-Test series from Melbourne. Now if you look at it, we have won the series 2-0. The Indian team, the character, and the fight we show, we leave everything on the ground. That's the hallmark of the Indian team. That's exactly how we played."