For Hanuma Vihari, the job was to excel when opportunity came his way

For Hanuma Vihari, the job was to excel when opportunity came his way

Vihari was also aware of the different opinions that existed over his selection for the Oval Test.

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

For Hanuma Vihari, the England series was a big exposure and the talented batsman is set to take one Test at a time, stay focused and improve his game. Vihari made his debut as India’s 292nd Test player in the fifth Test at the Oval and he had a decent outing with a fifty and a three-wicket haul in the game. Even though India lost the match, Vihari’s crucial half-century in the first innings had kept the visitors in the game for a long time.

The 24-year-old Andhra batsman, who averages above 59 in first-class cricket, came out to bat with India at 103 for 4 and added crucial 77 runs with Ravindra Jadeja for the seventh wicket. In the second innings, though Vihari fell for nought, he took three important England wickets in the form of Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Sam Curran.

Got a hint days before Oval Test

Vihari, who feels he belongs to the top league, also revealed that he had got a hint about his debut in the playing XI at the Oval Test a couple of days before the game, a Sportstar report said. India dropped out-of-form all-rounder Hardik Pandya and chose to play six batsmen in the match.

“I was mentally prepared for the big occasion. I was not overawed but that unique feeling of donning India colours was there. It was a big moment for me,” Vihari, the captain of Andhra where he moved over from Hyderabad in 2016, said.

Vihari also thanked captain Virat Kohli for encouraging him during batting. Vihari said the latter advised him to enjoy the moment and bat freely and confidently. The duo added 51 runs for the fifth wicket at the Oval before Kohli departed. Vihari also thanked his India ‘A’ coach Rahul Dravid for giving him a pep talk over the telephone that boosted his self-confidence.

“I am grateful to every member of the team for making me feel comfortable, special thanks to my mom (Vijayalakshmi) who sacrificed so much to help me reach this level and John sir (K. John Manoj at St. John’s Foundation where he learnt the basics),” the right-handed batsman was quoted as saying.

Vihari was also aware of the different opinions that existed over his selection for the Oval Test. He said his job was to do well when the opportunity came his way.

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