Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari AP Photo

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir said that it would be very unfortunate if Hanuma Vihari has to sit out for the next match when Virat Kohli makes a comeback. Notable that Virat Kohli missed out on the second test due to an upper back spasm so Vihari got a chance. It was his first Test match since that marathon match-saving effort in Sydney in the new year’s Test match last year.

Hanuma Vihari (Image Credit: Twitter)
Hanuma Vihari (Image Credit: Twitter)

Hanuma Vihari played his 12 of 13 Test matches away from home

In the first innings, he scored a laborious 53-ball 20 before getting caught on a short leg off Rabada, and in the second innings, he looked quite assured with a solid knock of unbeaten 40 as he was left stranded. Gambhir believes that Vihari earned his place for the next test and his unbeaten 40 wasn’t any less than Rahane’s fifty.

“It would be very unfortunate if he doesn’t play the next Test. If Rahane has scored a fifty, even Hanuma Vihari remained unbeaten on 40. If Vihari had batted in Rahane’s position (in the second innings), he might have scored a fifty as well. He has played with control in both innings,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.

Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane Image Source : GETTY IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane Image Source: GETTY IMAGE

Since January 2020, Rahane scored just 537 runs with an average of 21.48 which included three fifties. On the other side, Vihari played his 12 of 13 tests away from home as the Hyderabad batter scored 684 runs with an average of 34.20 with one hundred and 4 fifties. Since making his debut in England 2018, he constantly traveled with Team India on every tour but couldn’t get a consistent run in the final XI.

“You would want to give a long rope to such a batter. You don’t just play him in one game, then keep him out for the rest of the year. It is very unfair. We’ve seen Rahane’s performances for a long time now. So, I think that when Virat Kohli comes back in the next Test, he should bat at number 4 with Hanuma Vihari at 5. Going forward, I think it’s a right move in the right direction.” he added.

“If the team management has backed Rahane so much, it is time for them to put their faith in Hanuma Vihari as well, because he has looked solid in both, the first as well as the second innings,” said Gambhir.

Vihari also bowls some handy off-spin as the 28-year old picked 5 wickets so far in his Test career. So the team management might see him as a handy option if they want to go with an all-pace attack at Cape Town.

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