Vihari – first India player from Andhra in 19 years

Hanuma Vihari received his India cap a few hours before the start of the fifth and final Test at the Kennington Oval on Friday.

Vihari — who smashed 752 runs in Ranji Trophy 2017-18 — had tasted success for India A in the tour of England in June-July.   -  FILE PIC/VIVEK BENDRE

Andhra batsman Hanuma Vihari is all set to represent India in the fifth and final Test against England at the Kennington Oval. On Friday, a few hours before the start of first day’s play, he received his cap.

The right-handed middle-order batsman is the 292 player to represent India in Test cricket.

Vihari is the first cricketer from Andhra in 19 years to walk into the Indian dressing room. The last, coincidentally, was M.S.K. Prasad — the current chairman of selectors.

He replaced Hardik Pandya.

With a staggering average of 59.79 in first-class cricket, Vihari’s selection wasn’t a surprise. He could also be a handy off-break bowler.

In an earlier interview with Sportstar, he had revealed how changing domestic teams [Hyderabad to Andhra] improved his game. Though there was no IPL gig, the Andhra captaincy role turned him into a man of steel. “It made me more mature as a person. I knew I was taking a big risk changing sides. If I didn’t do well, people would talk. I knew I had to step up and had to do double the hard work and score double the runs," he said.

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“I don’t think about how many runs I should get, I play according to the situation and what the team wants from me at that point of time. I try to play more with my mind than my skills. At this level, it is all about the mindset. A player is usually satisfied after scoring a hundred, but for me, situations are more important than personal milestones,” he added

Despite clinical performances in the domestic season, Vihari remained overlooked at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions — for the third time in a row — this January.

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An offer from Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League brought some hope. He played four limited-over games — from March 24 to April 5 — and even earned a handsome remuneration.

Vihari in domestic cricket

TournamentRuns100s50sAverage
Ranji Trophy 2017-18  752   2  3  94.00
Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017-18  378   1  1  54.00

 

Vihari's last eight innings for India A

  • 148 vs South Africa A
  • 54 vs South Africa A
  • 4, 68 vs West Indies A
  • 37, 10 vs West Indies A
  • 37 vs England Lions
  • 147 vs West Indies A
  • 69 vs England Lions
  • 38 vs ECB XI

On the other hand, Ravindra Jadeja is in the playing XI — after the one-off Test against Afghanistan in June — in place of Ravichandran Ashwin.