Former batsman Wasim Jaffer on Sunday applauded the Indian team's approach in the ongoing third Test against Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), saying that the soft-spoken players get transformed into warriors while being on the field.
Already struggling with the injury woes in the ongoing Australia tour, India suffered another blow as batsman Hanuma Vihari was seen in pain due to a hamstring injury but the player decided to continue his innings after taking some medication in the middle by the team physio.On Saturday, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant also suffered injuries while batting in the first innings and were taken for scans. Jadeja suffered a dislocation and fracture to his thumb but still, he will come in bat if needed in the second innings.
He now joins Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul in the list of players who suffered serious injuries and were ruled out.
While Pant's blow was not that serious and he played a fearless knock of 97 runs on the final day.
Taking to Twitter Jaffer wrote, "This team of soft-spoken gentlemen transforms on the field into warriors who never cross the line but never take a backward step. Matching opposition punch for punch, putting body on the line. Whatever happens from here this team has won the respect of the cricket world. #AUSvIND."
Chasing a monumental total of 407 to win the game, Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara's wickets came as a big blow for India in the second session of the final day of the Pink Test.
For the visitors, Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin are currently leading the run chase.
In the second session, 74 runs were scored from 26 overs. Resuming the second session on the final day at 206/3, Pant and Pujara stuck to their individual approaches of scoring runs, and mixed caution with aggression to keep the scoreboard moving. However, Australia came back strongly as they got the crucial wicket of Pant (97) with India still 157 runs away from the target. Pant was sent back to the pavilion by Nathan Lyon, reducing India to 250/4.
At the tea interval, India's score reads 280/5, and it is still 127 runs away from the target.
With the second new ball, Josh Hazlewood provided yet another big breakthrough as he cleaned up Pujara (77) and India's hopes of surviving the final day took a big hit. Vihari pulled his hamstring in the second session and as a result, he was unable to run quickly between the wickets.
In the end, Vihari and Ashwin ensured that the hosts did not lose any more wickets before the tea interval.Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane (4) departed early in the first session but Pant and Pujara ensured that India showed a fight and kept hopes alive on the final day. At the lunch break, India's score read 206/3, with 201 runs needed to win the match.
On day four, Australia had set a target of 407 for India to win the third Test. Cameron Green and Steve Smith played knocks of 84 and 81 respectively as Australia declared their second innings on 312/6.