'Perhaps my best was not good enough for the Indian team' - Hanuma Vihari opens up on his exclusion from Team India

Hanuma Vihari played the last Test against England (Birmingham) in July 2022.

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Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Hanuma Vihari was one of the pillars of the Indian team's famous series win in the Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) in 2020–21. Vihari saved the third Test match at Sydney with an unbeaten 23 of 161 balls. In between, he suffered a hamstring injury, but he continued batting to ensure a draw for his side. The 29-year-old will soon be leading the South Zone in the final of the Duleep Trophy. Vihari, in his fresh statement, reveals how he kept himself motivated after being dropped from Team India. 

Vihari's overall runs in the Test read 839 in 29 innings, with five fifties and one hundred. The right-handed batter's first Test century came on the 2019 West Indies tour where in the second Test, he scored his maiden hundred for the national side.

The Andhra Pradesh-born cricketer doesn’t know the exact reason why he was dropped, but clearly, he takes inspiration from Ajinkya Rahane’s re-selection in the Test side. Rahane has been made vice-captain of the Indian team for the upcoming West Indies Test series, after performing well in the 2023 World Test Championship (WTC) final.

"It's always tough to make a comeback, once you're dropped, it plays on your mental side as well. It affects your mindset. I've gone through that last season,” Vihari was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. 

"This season, I want to keep everything aside and focus on my batting, try to get better at my skills, and do what I've been doing best for the last 12 years in first-class cricket. If it happens, it happens. If not, I'll try to keep getting better and help my state side or zone," he added. 

Vihari made the above statement in Bengaluru during the Duleep Trophy semi-final, where he made a quick 43 runs on a tense final day to seal victory against North Zone where the South Zone won the game by two wickets. In the context of Rahane’s selection, Vihari also hopes to make a comeback via a good domestic run.

“I thought whenever I got a chance, I did my best. Maybe my best was not good enough for the Indian team. But again, I will try to keep getting better. That's all you can do as a sportsman. Keep getting better in different aspects. I'll continue doing that this coming season,” said the right-handed batter.

"Hope is always there until you retire that you can come back. I'm still 29 and have a lot of time to go. I've seen Ajinkya Rahane make a comeback at 35. I have a long way to go. I still feel I can contribute to the Indian side in the Test format, especially if I can get some runs in the domestic season,” concluded Vihari. 

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