Garnering praise from all quarters for their outstanding batting performance – pacer Shardul Thakur and debutant Washington Sundar punched above their weight with splendid half-centuries to keep Australia at bay and India bullish after an engrossing third day’s play in the series-deciding fourth Test in Brisbane on Sunday. Among all the congratulatory messages, there was one message which stand out and it was from India captain Virat Kohli who heaped rich praise on Sundar and Thakur for showing ‘outstanding application and belief’.

“Outstanding application and belief by @Sundarwashi5 and @imShard. This is what test cricket is all about. Washy top composure on debut and tula parat maanla re Thakur,” the 32-year-old Kohli Tweeted on Sunday. Kohli, while lauding Thakur’s efforts used Marathi for the Mumbai-born pacer – ‘Tula parat Maanla re’ – which mean ‘Hats off to you again’.

Commentator and former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar, who was in the commentary box during Sundar-Thakur’s record seventh-wicket stand versus Australia on Day 3 in Brisbane, explained why Kohli used those ‘special words’ Thakur. Manjrekar also belongs to the financial capital of India – Mumbai. The 55-year-old also narrated an interesting story behind Kohli’s choice of words.

Manjrekar said tula parat manla means ‘hats off to you again’ and said the reason why Kohli took his hat off to Shardul Thakur again was because of his batting skills. “We say tula manla in Mumbai a lot to state ‘hats off to you’ and that’s what he (Virat Kohli) tweeted after that innings (against West Indies) and now he has said tula parat manla which means hats off to you again,” Manjrekar elaborated.

The former India batsman recalled Shardul’s match-winning cameo of 17-run match-winning cameo in the third ODI against West Indies in Cuttack in 2019, where Kohli had praised the Mumbai pacer saying, ‘Tula Maanla Re’.

However, Australia’s lead could have been much more had it not been for a delightful 123-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Washington – 62 – and Shardul – 67, who defied and then attacked the rival bowling attack with gusto.

“We knew their bowlers were tiring out a bit so it was a matter of hanging in there for one hour. We knew we probably would be on top if we hung in,” said Shardul at the post-play press conference.

Pacer Josh Hazlewood finished with a well-deserved 5/57 for Australia, a reward for consistently bowling with an impeccable line and length at a brisk pace.