Sydney [Australia], January 11 (ANI): Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin's blockathon helped India eke out a draw against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday and BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla feels India has finally found its new "wall".
Batting out 258 balls, the Indian duo of Vihari and Ashwin stood ground and faced a fiery Australian bowling attack on the fifth day in the third Test. Former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid, who is celebrating his 48th birthday on Monday, is known as "the Wall" and Shukla feels Vihari and Ashwin have taken the mantle over after their marathon 2.5 hours stay at the crease.
"The new real wall after Dravid in Indian cricket are @Hanumavihari and @ashwinravi99. They scored 62 runs in 259 balls. Good performance to get the match to draw. @RishabhPant17 & @cheteshwar1 played superb knock. @ImRo45 & @RealShubmanGill as usual were good at the crease," Shukla tweeted.
India was on the back foot on day five until the team management decided to send in Rishabh Pant at the fall of stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane's wicket.
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 get 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. (ANI)