Opening in Test really unfair and unfortunate for Hanuma Vihari, says VVS Laxman

Opening in Test really unfair and unfortunate for Hanuma Vihari, says VVS Laxman

Vihari, who had played just two games before the third Test, is not new to opening the innings. He has opened on three occasions in first-class cricket, scoring 265 runs at 132.50.

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman. (Photo Source: CricTracker)

Murali Vijay’s hopes of making a successful return to the Test side ended in a disappointing manner. The right-handed batsman was dropped midway through the series in England this year after he only scored 26 runs from four innings including twin ducks in the second Test at Lord’s.

A disappointed Vijay then signed up for Essex and soon regained his form. The India star made scores of 56, 100, 85, 80 and 2 to show that he still has a lot to offer. He was ignored for the home series against Windies but soon returned to the side for the ongoing series. Later, an unfortunate injury to Prithvi Shaw saw him playing in the second innings of the tour game where he smashed an impressive ton to stake a claim in the playing eleven.

The Indian team-management rewarded Vijay with a place in the playing eleven but the latter failed to justify the faith shown in him. Vijay scored 11, 18 , 0 and 20 in the four innings of the series before being dropped for the third Test along with fellow opener KL Rahul.

India named uncapped Mayank Agarwal in the playing eleven to open the innings along with Hanuma Vihari who was promoted from number six.  And while only time will tell how successful the move will be, former India batsman VVS Laxman is not impressed with it. Laxman believes that India should have persisted with Vijay. He also said that pushing Hanuma Vihari into an unfamiliar role was an ‘unfair’ move.

“While Mayank Agarwal would have been an automatic choice, particularly when keeping in mind that Prithvi Shaw is out of the series and KL Rahul is struggling with his confidence level, I felt that Murali Vijay showed a glimpse of what Murali Vijay can do. You could see it in the second innings at Perth, even though he got out playing a bad shot, the way he was leaving the ball and getting into position when playing his trademark cover-drives, you just felt that he was getting back confidence and rhythm,” Laxman told ESPNcricinfo.

“That’s where as a team management you invest and support a player [so that] … the next Test he plays he can turn it around. It’s really unfair and unfortunate for Vihari to open in an international match. He was never done that in first-class cricket or any form of cricket,” he added.

Vihari, who had played just two games before the third Test, is not new to opening the innings. He has opened on three occasions in first-class cricket, scoring 265 runs at 132.50.

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