Former Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin has acknowledged he was surprised by the resolve shown by the Indian team while drawing the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Team India seemed to be staring down the barrel when they lost their captain Ajinkya Rahane early on the final day of the Sydney Test, in pursuit of a mammoth 407-run target. But Rishabh Pant then took the attack to the Aussies to set the cat among the pigeons as India suddenly seemed to have a realistic chance of pulling off an upset win.
Although India had to bail out of the run chase after the dismissals of Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara in quick succession, an injured Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin batted out 43 overs for a creditable draw.
While speaking on 1170 SEN Breakfast, Brad Haddin started by admitting he was taken aback by Rahane’s bold move to send Pant up the order.
“If I am to be honest, I didn’t see this coming at all. The way India performed yesterday when they could have just shut up shop and played for a draw, but the Pant tactical move by Ajinkya Rahane I thought was outstanding,” said Haddin.
Brad Haddin lauded the brave move by the Indian captain and the way Pant batted to put pressure on the Aussies.
“If you have a closer look at it, he sent Pant out to try and move the game forward and Pant did exactly that. He played brave and he made Tim Paine make some decisions as captain on the last day which I thought tactically was really good,” added Haddin.
Haddin pointed out that India made the right decision of playing for a draw after Pant’s dismissal, with Hanuma Vihari stonewalling the Australian bowlers.
“Then Vihari came in, and he’s a very similar player to Pujara, they can just shut the game down and that’s exactly what he did,” observed Brad Haddin.
Indian team is showing a lot of character: Brad Haddin
While observing that the massive target was probably a bridge too far, Brad Haddin praised Ajinkya Rahane for almost making a match out of it with his aggressive captaincy.
“Rahane hasn’t lost the game as captain, he was really brave yesterday to give India a little sniff. I thought the runs were always too much for them, but he gave them a sniff,” said Haddin.
Brad Haddin signed off by speaking in glowing terms about the resolve shown by the India team, despite being bogged down by a spate of injuries.
“They’re showing some really, really good character this India team. They’ve got a lot of injuries, they’ve lost their captain, they’ve lost three fast bowlers, Jadeja’s got a busted thumb. They’re showing a lot of character,” concluded Haddin.
The resolve shown by Team India while drawing the Sydney Test was truly commendable. They had gone into the match missing the services of regulars like Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.
Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja suffered injuries while batting in the first innings, with the latter now ruled of the Brisbane Test. Hanuma Vihari was the embodiment of the Indian spirit as he batted a majority of his innings with a torn hamstring. He will play no part in the next Test as well.
Published 12 Jan 2021, 10:57 IST