Hanuma Vihari was one of the biggest absentees from India’s squad for the ongoing two-match Test series against New Zealand. Having made his Test debut in 2018, the right-handed batter has been a regular part of India’s Test squad. However, he hasn’t been regular in the playing XI due to the team’s star-studded batting line-up. In fact, Vihari’s all 12 Test appearances so far have come on foreign lands, where India doesn’t mind including six batters in the line-up.
As the likes of Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant were rested for the home Test series against the Kiwis, Vihari looked all set to play his first home Test. However, the selectors surprisingly didn’t include him in the squad and instead drafted him in India A squad for the three-match unofficial Test series in South Africa.
It must be noted that India are set to travel South Africa for a full-fledged tour later this month. Hence, the impression came that selectors want Vihari to adapt the conditions of the rainbow nation. However, many believed playing Test cricket would have been better for the 28-year-old. Speaking on the matter, former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan reckoned Vihari should not get affected by the outside noise and focus on his game.
Hanuma Vihari should look to improve his game: Zaheer Khan
“First of all, you need to see how many players already playing here (against New Zealand). Now, India plays 10-12 Test matches in a year. So, players, who are just playing the longest, would want to feature in every match. However, that’s not possible due to the competition within the team,” said Zaheer after being asked whether Vihari should have played against the Kiwis.
Zaheer further said thinking about national selection would only make things complicated for Vihari. Hence, he must only focus on delivering in domestic and other games.
“Although communication is a key, one can’t be absolutely clear when it comes to selection. It might happen that Vihari isn’t a crucial part of India’s upcoming plans,” opined Zaheer.
“So all Vihari can do is not to get frustrate from all these factors and focus on his game. He should look to improve on basics and perform in whatever opportunities he’s getting. You have to simplify things for yourself, not to complicate,” he added.