Hanuma Vihari battled time, opponents and his own injury to script one of the most remarkable escapes for India in their rich Test history. Arriving at the crease at 250-4 after Rishabh Pant’s 97-run blitzkrieg, Vihari fought with much grit and determination en route to ticking off 161 deliveries on Day 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). He formed a vigilant 62-run stand with Ravichandran Ashwin, who himself negotiated 128 deliveries to lead India’s match-saving efforts.
Earlier in the day, it appeared that the visitors had once again fancied themselves for an unlikely victory. However, Pant’s departure enabled the rest of the batsmen to resort to survival and negotiation mode for the remainder of the Day 5 overs. Hanuma Vihari himself countered as many as 161 deliveries to score just 23 runs as India reached 334-5 before players shook hands with each other.
During the course of his match-saving knock, that ended with a strike-rate of 14.29, Vihari achieved a series of rare Test match records. It took him 82 balls to score his first six runs to become the second slowest player ever in Test cricket after former all-rounder Ian Botham. It took Vihari another 30 deliveries to move from six to seven as he became the slowest to get to the same. Eventually, he ended at 23 off 161 balls to eclipse Hedley Verity’s 157-ball effort in getting there.
Here is a look at the records Hanuma Vihari broke or equalled during his patient match-saving innings. The series of records also presents a timeline of the cricketer’s vigilant stay at the crease.
Most known balls faced for a Test innings of 6:— Ric Finlay (@RicFinlay) January 11, 2021
Most known balls faced for a Test innings of 7:— Ric Finlay (@RicFinlay) January 11, 2021
Most known balls faced for a Test innings of 15:— Ric Finlay (@RicFinlay) January 11, 2021
Most known balls faced for a Test innings of 19:— Ric Finlay (@RicFinlay) January 11, 2021
Most known balls faced for a Test innings of 23:— Ric Finlay (@RicFinlay) January 11, 2021
Hanuma Vihari suffered a hamstring niggle earlier in his innings when he tried to take a quick single with Pujara at the other end. Despite not recovering from his injury, the cricketer helped India bat out their remaining overs for a draw. While yet to be officially confirmed by the BCCI, Vihari’s injury might make him unavailable for playing XI for the fourth and final Test.
India's battered and bruised line-up refused to yield to Australia's attack on an SCG pitch that held up well, sending the series to the Gabba locked at 1-1.@ARamseyCricket's day five report: https://t.co/Qt5unV2LOB #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/M32w7v7ffv— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 11, 2021
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