While every cricket fan in India is basking in the glory of an epic draw that Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin managed to eke out in the third Test against Australia at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday.
Vihari's scan reports have come and he has a Grade 2 tear in his right hamstring. Sources in the team management have revealed that the scan reports are in and Vihari has a Grade 2 tear which has not only ruled him out of the final game, but also puts him in doubt for the England games. It generally takes 3 to 6 weeks to completely recover from a Grade 2 tear.
"His scan reports are in and he has a Grade 2 tear which means the boy batted for around 3 hours with searing pain. He deserves praise for standing there and holding fort like a true champion," the source said.
While Vihari's hamstring issue was noticeable, not many knew that even Ashwin had back issues on Monday morning. It was later revealed by his wife Prithi on social media. "The man went to bed last night with a terrible back tweak and in unbelievable pain. He could not stand up straight when he woke up this morning. Could not bend down to tie his shoelaces. I am amazed at what @ashwinravi99 pulled off today," she tweeted after the win.
Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane was one of the first to praise Vihari and Ashwin for their match-saving efforts.
"This is as good as winning a Test match, when you come abroad and play a match like this, it was really special. Credit to Ashwin and Vihari for the way they batted, Pujara, Rohit, Pant everyone chipped into the team's cause. But credit to Vihari and Ashwin for batting 2.5 hours in the end," Rahane said during the virtual press conference.
Talking about Vihari's 23-run knock off 161 balls, Rahane said: "See, Vihari was batting really well in the last three Tests. He was not able to get a big score but today we all saw his special knock. I think his knock was more special than his 100, the way he batted after being injured, he showed motivation and he hung in there for the team. It was really good, it was all about what the team wanted and credit to him for the way he handled himself. It was really special to see how he managed his injury."
Commenting on the knock, Vihari told BCCI.TV that Ashwin had guided him right through. Vihari said the satisfaction from this ‘fabulous result’ will slowly sink in, adding that Ashwin communicated like an elder brother on the field.
"That session was a real experience for me. It was something that you can only dream of, batting on day five. The series is 1-1 and if you can do it for the team, the satisfaction, I think it will slowly sink and then we will realise how big of an effort that was. Was really happy like how Ash, like an elder brother, was communicating and telling me let's focus one ball at a time and take it as deep as possible. The communication that we had was really special," he said.
Vihari further stated: "Getting a draw out of it was a fabulous result for us. I feel if I was not injured and Puji would have been there for some more time, we would have had a different result, maybe a fabulous win but nonetheless, I feel 10 points out of this is a massive result for us."