‘It was a grave mistake to begin with’ – Aakash Chopra questions Hanuma Vihari’s omission from New Zealand Tests

‘It was a grave mistake to begin with’ – Aakash Chopra questions Hanuma Vihari’s omission from New Zealand Tests

Vihari hasn't played for India since the Sydney Test earlier this year against Australia.

Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Hanuma Vihari’s exclusion from the two-match Test series against New Zealand has raised a lot of eyebrows. The 28-year-old made his Test debut for India back in 2018 and has only played 12 Tests since then. The right-handed batter last played a Test back in January this year when India played against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

He hasn’t played international cricket since then, although he played for Warwickshire in the County Championship back in April. Vihari, recently, turned up for Hyderabad in the previous edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. In four matches, the experienced campaigner scored 94 runs with a top score of 57 against Chandigarh.

In the meantime, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra said that by leaving out Vihari for the upcoming two-match series, Team India have committed a “grave mistake”.

Chopra took to Twitter and wrote, “Leaving out Hanuma Vihari for the #IndvNZ Tests looks like a faux pas now. It was a grave mistake to begin with…”

Aakash Chopra’s tweet

Soon after he was left out of the national team, Vihari was included in the India A squad for their three-match series against South Africa A at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein. Former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja hit out at the selectors for leaving Vihari out for the series against the Black Caps.

“Vihari, poor guy. He did well. He has been with Indian cricket for a while, done well. What has he done wrong? Why should he go to India A tour, why can’t he play a Test match at home? Or don’t send him on A tour also. Somebody who has been with the team, now goes to India A tour and a new guy comes in. That’s messing with people’s minds,” Jadeja said.

From the batting front, India have been jolted with a blow as opener KL Rahul has been ruled out due to a muscle strain on his left thigh. Virat Kohli won’t be a part of the opening Test and will join the team in the second match. Ajinkya Rahane is set to lead India at the Green Park in Kanpur.