‘You did a great job’ – Hanuma Vihari reveals Rahul Dravid sent him a text message after SCG Test
Vihari also credited India A tours for youngsters stepping up at the international level.
Updated - Jan 21, 2021 6:46 pm
Hanuma Vihari has revealed the heartwarming message from the legendary Rahul Dravid for his heroic knock in the third Test of the just-concluded series against Australia. India were in danger of conceding the match when Vihari joined Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle. The visitors still needed to bat out more than 50 overs to ensure a draw.
The Pujara-Vihari pair was the last recognized batting pair for India and with Ravindra Jadeja not fit for batting, the visitors were also a batsman short. India then suffered another setback when Pujara departed in the 89th over. With more than 40 overs remaining and India’s tail exposed, it looked all over for the Ajinkya Rahane-led side.
However, Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin defied all the odds to power India to a hard-earned draw. They batted for more than 40 overs to clinch the famous draw. What made Vihari’s knock even more special is that he was suffering from a severe hamstring injury. But it did not affect his priority as the Andhra star played 161 balls for his unbeaten 23 to help his team pull off an iconic draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Rahul Dravid’s message for Hanuma Vihari
In a recent interview, Hanuma Vihari revealed Rahul Dravid‘s nice gesture after the SCG Test. Following the Test, Dravid sent a text message to the right-handed batsman, praising him for his knock. Vihari also spoke about Dravid’s role in nurturing the Indian batsmen for the highest stage of the game. The India star pointed out how Dravid ‘bridged the gap between Ranji Trophy and the Indian team’ while serving as the head coach of India A.
“Even after the Sydney Test, it was nice of him to send me a text. He said ‘Very well done, you did a great job’. That is the person he is and I respect him for that,” Hanuma Vihari was quoted as saying by India Today.
“I mean, after getting picked in the India A side. Those who were there in the side, Siraj, Saini, Shubman, Mayank, everyone who were part of that side played a lot of cricket together in India A. Also, in the last 3-4 years, we played many India A tours and he was the coach (Rahul Dravid).
“I don’t think we played so many India A tours before. So that bridged the gap between Ranji Trophy and the Indian team. We made the progress quickly. That’s the reason why we are playing our first game or the second game, we are ready for the challenge. We are not behind any other players. He made it possible,” he added.
Hanuma Vihari further said that Dravid deserves the credit from India’s youngsters for the way he coached them. The 27-year old highlighted how Dravid was always there to help the youngsters. The former India skipper is currently serving as the director of the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
“As youngsters, we have to give a lot of credit to him, the way he let us express our game. When we play under him, it always feels like he is more of a mentor than a coach. He is always there whenever we need him. Even in the last Australia tour, I made a call to him, saying ‘Sir, I am making my debut’. He said ‘you have done exceptionally well in Ranji Trophy, in India A, so you’re ready to play’. That’s the confidence he gave me,” Vihari said.