The 3rd Test match between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) ended in a draw on Monday after an injured Hanuma Vihari along with Ravichandran Ashwin survived more than 250 balls at the crease.
Reacting on Vihari's innings who at a point had played 109 balls to score 7 runs, Union Minister and BJP leader Babul Supriyo termed it "atrocious". Taking to Twitter, the Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate change said that Vihari "not only killed any chance for India to achieve a historic win but has also murdered cricket".
The BJP leader said that "not keeping win an option, even if remotely, is criminal." However, he added that "I know that I know nothing about cricket."
Playing 109 balls to score 7 !That is atrocious to say the least•Hanuma Bihari has not only killed any Chance for India to achieve a historic win but has also murdered Cricket.. not keeping win an option, even if remotely, is criminal.— Babul Supriyo (@SuPriyoBabul) January 11, 2021
PS: I know that I know nothing abt cricket
In another tweet, Supriyo, being aware of Vihari's injury said that only if the right-hander "showed this little initiative of just standing and hitting the bad balls for boundaries, India may have got this historic win given that Pant did what no one expected." He said that he is reiterating that it's "only the bad balls" that could have been hit given Vihari was a set batsman by then.
If Hanuma showed this little initiative of just standing& hitting the BAD BALLS for boundaries, India may hv got this historic win GIVEN that Pant did what no one expected•And, I am reiterating that it's ONLY the bad balls that cud hv been hit given Hanuma was set batman by then https://t.co/C8Z5YKOHCk— Babul Supriyo (@SuPriyoBabul) January 11, 2021
However, Babul Supriyo's opinion has not gone down well with the cricket fans with many of them asking him to "stick to politics or singing" while few tried to explain to him the importance of Vihari's innings in the context of the match.
Nothing wrong in being ignorant but announcing it to the world so blatantly is outrageous.— THE SKIN DOCTOR (@theskindoctor13) January 11, 2021
Indeed you know nothing about cricket Mr. Minister. But don’t you even know anything about empathy? Vihari and Ashwin are doing national duty by saving the match for 🇮🇳. Be more empathetic and proud of your players, the least.— Sayal Gupta (@sayal_gupta) January 11, 2021
Sir, in my view, he played a marvellous innings that will go into cricket folklore forever. Saving this match is nothing less than a win.— অবুঝ চৌবাচ্চা, 1889 (@anirban_5683) January 11, 2021
Listen , Vihari is playing with an injury. Trying to save the game. When you do not know anything about cricket, it is better you do not comment. If you cannot appreciate the fight by Ashwin and Vihari, shame on you!— sudeep banerjee (@silentguy_21) January 11, 2021
Vihari (23 not out off 161) and Ashwin (39 not out off 128), who got together in the 89th over of India's second innings, wore down Australia by batting for more than 42 overs. India ended up with 334 for five in 131 overs. Starting the day at 98 for two and needing 309 for victory, Cheteshwar Pujara (77 off 205) and Rishabh Pant (97 off 118) kept the fight going for India with a 148-run stand after losing skipper Ajinkya Rahane (4) early.
Vihari, who was limping for a major part of his innings due to a hamstring injury, and Ashwin kept the Australians at bay with a marathon match-saving effort. The duo batted for 42.4 overs. The series remains tied at 1-1 going into the fourth and final Test, beginning at the Gabba on January 15.