Ravichandran Ashwin, following the draw, stated that the atmosphere in the dressing room was electric and exciting but stressed that Cummins was bowling in a different league altogether. Ashwin also equalled Vihari’s knock equal to scoring a hundred with the duo saving the Test for India.
For the first time in this decade, India came out of the Test match, unscathed against the mighty Australians after being at the crossroads during the early session on Day five. With the pitch deteriorating and the bowlers becoming more confident, it required a counter-attacking knock from Rishabh Pant to put the Australian bowlers on the shelves and take India to a comfortable position, where they sensed a possible victory.
However, after Hanuma Vihari hurt his hamstring, it was never the case of a victory for the visitors but still required a herculean effort from the duo - Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin to bail the visitors to a draw. The duo batted for 246 deliveries, where they scored 62 runs, in a brutal session that frustrated the hosts. Following the efforts, Ashwin stated that the dressing room is electric while crediting Cummins for his bowling, hailing it as in a ‘different league’ altogether.
“The atmosphere in the dressing room is electric. In Test cricket we don't get a lot of draws, it was a really exciting last session. I just went to Pujara and told him, you sold me down the river me in both the innings. Cummins was bowling in a different league altogether. There was a bit of double bounce, so it was difficult against Cummins. I think facing Bumrah in the nets is not easy. We have bowlers who can bowl in the 150s. I have been batting well in the nets, so it was great to spend some time in the middle,” said Ashwin post the thrilling encounter.
While it wasn’t just that, Vihari’s injury had reduced the hopes of a victory, it also put his stay at the crease extremely crucial with the injury to Ravindra Jadeja. The right-hander dug out deep, facing 161 deliveries for his 23. Ashwin compared Vihari’s ‘herculean’ innings as equal to scoring a hundred. The all-rounder also insisted that his innings would be right up there in terms of his batting contribution to the country.
“Chasing 400 in Sydney was never going to be easy, as the ball was going up and down. That knock by Pant set us up. After Pujara and Pant's wicket and with Vihari injured, it was going to be difficult to go for the win. Touring Australia is never easy so Vihari can be proud of himself. It was a knock equal to scoring a hundred. I was just telling the batting coach during the lunch break that I have never left the SCG without a fifty, this is a venue where I have done well with the bat and today's innings is right up there,” he added.