Bat speed has helped me in Tests, says Hanuma Vihari

Vihari’s bat-speed is slow and measured and unlike some of the super-fast willow-velocities of several present-day batsmen, suited more to the game’s shorter versions. This serves him well on seaming pitches with bounce.

During India's tour of Australia last year, the gutsy Hanuma Vihari battled hard against a high-quality Australian pace attack, put a price on his scalp. Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli were impressed with Vihari’s attitude.   -  S. Sudarshan

Hanuma Vihari’s bat-speed is an indicator of the type of batsman he is. It also gives us an insight into his strength.

Vihari’s bat-speed is slow and measured and unlike some of the super-fast willow-velocities of several present-day batsmen, suited more to the game’s shorter versions. This serves him well on seaming pitches with bounce. On such tracks he doesn’t go hard at the ball, which works in his favour.

“My bat-speed has helped me in the longer formats,” the 25-year-old Vihari told Sporstar here on Thursday. He is in Chennai, playing for Nelson in the TNCA first division league.

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Vihari’s composure and patience complement his technical solidity. He can construct an innings.

The youngster is also mentally tough. His selection in the eleven, against England at The Oval last year, came under intense criticism but Vihari remained unfazed on his Test debut.

“I did not feel any pressure because I genuinely believe I am good enough to play at this level.” He responded with an impressive 56 in seaming conditions.

The youngster remembered the words of his India-A coach and batting legend Rahul Dravid: “Remember, if your game has brought you so far, it will take you further.”

Vihari revealed the Indian team support staff was very welcoming. “Coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli were extremely encouraging.”

And when Kohli asked him to open in the pivotal Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, Vihari was ready. “I liked the challenge.”

The gutsy Vihari battled hard against a high-quality Australian pace attack, put a price on his scalp. Shastri and Kohli were impressed with Vihari’s attitude.

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In the Sydney Test, Vihari’s first innings 42 contained some scintillating cuts and pulls. “When young, I played a lot on matting wickets. It helped build my back-foot game.”

Pat Cummins is the toughest bowler he has faced so far. “He bowls in the good-length area, has pace, bounce and movement.”

Vihari is looking forward to the upcoming two-Test series in the Caribbean. “They have a terrific pace attack and I am preparing for the series.”

And Vihari is working on his off-spin as well; he delivers from an easy action. “I want to be more consistent.”

Hanuma Vihari, as resilient as they come, is here to stay.