India middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari takes pride in his brave effort that saw him battling a hamstring injury on the final day of the third Test against Australia in Sydney which helped the tourists draw the contest and keep the series alive. Vihari was involved in an unbroken partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin defying the Australian bowlers.

Vihari suffered a grade 2 muscle tear that ruled him out of the fourth and final Test in Brisbane, a contest India went on to win by three wickets, thus creating history by becoming the first touring team in 32 years to beat Australia at the venue. Vihari says he was disappointed to have not been part of that extraordinary win.

“I feel happy and proud to (have) been involved in a stand with Ashwin which saved the Test for India and kept its hopes alive in the series. But, at the same time, I feel gutted that I was not there for the final Test when the Indian team recorded a historic series win,” Vihari told The Hindu.

Vihari is now in Bengaluru where he will start his rehabilitation from the injury at the National Cricket Academy. The 27-year-old scored 23 off 161 deliveries in Sydney, an effort he values much more scoring a century.

“It is a great feeling to play such an important innings with the hamstring injury causing acute pain. We had no option but to go for a draw because of injuries. It was one of those efforts from my side which has a greater value than a Test century for me. Our effort ensured that India went to Brisbane with hopes of winning the series,” he said.

India bounced back from the historic low of Adelaide when they were bowled out for 36 – their lowest total in Test history. They won the series 2-1 despite having captain Virat Kohli just for the series opener and losing their frontline pace-attack completely by the fourth Test.

Vihari explained the team, after going down in the first Test, “looked at the (remainder of the) series as a three-match series to be mentally fresh for the bigger challenges ahead.

“Full credit to the way the young bowlers performed. They know how to bowl with the red ball at this level because of the India-A exposure tours,” he added.