India’s middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari has constantly gathered runs against Kiwis. First, he scored a century in the unofficial Test series and now, in the three-day-practice match, Vihari struck a hundred against New Zealand XI at Seddon Park, Hamilton.
On Friday (14th February), in first innings, Cheteshwar Pujara and Vihari stitched a 195-run partnership and led India to put 263 in the scoreboard.
After day one, Vihari said that he struggled to set himself and had to do some adjustments in his style. Also, Pujara gave some crucial advice to the middle order batter.
“When I went in, the wicket was doing a lot. There was a lot of grass cover on the wicket and we lost four early wickets. We were 40-4. So, the talk was to bat time and see-off the new ball as they were bowling in the great areas,” Vihari said.
Vihari entered the field when India was already four wickets down. At the crucial stage, Pujara advised Vihari to leave more balls on this wicket as it was purely a green top.
“I have made a few adjustments in the middle because wickets in Lincoln was quite different from what it is here. It adds pace and bounce early on and with the new ball, it was a challenge. Pujara was there to help me. He told me what I could do, leave more balls on this wicket,” he added.
Pujara anchored another end and scored 93 runs off 211 balls while Vihari scored 101 runs off 182 balls.
I will be prepared to bat anywhere: Hanuma Vihari
Meanwhile, there is still a big question to be answered that who will open the innings as Rohit Sharma has surfaced with a calf injury.
Although Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill are the options.
Vihari was asked if he was ready to take the role of opener if asked. He instantly agreed to take up the responsibility.
“Obviously, as a player, I will be prepared to bat anywhere. As of now, I have not been informed anything but if the team requests me to bat wherever in the order I’m ready to.”
The first Test of the two-match series will be played at Basin Reserve in Wellington from February 21.