Reason why Hanuma Vihari wasn’t picked in India’s Test squad for NZ series

Hanuma Vihari

BCCI announced India’s 16-man squad for the upcoming two-match Test series devoid of some of their top players. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Rishabh Pant were rested for the whole series while skipper Virat Kohli will play only the second Test. Even in the absence of these players, middle-order batter Hanuma Vihari didn’t find a place in the Test squad and many were surprised to know about it.

The man didn’t do much wrong whenever he played for India. The last time he played a Test was in Sydney earlier this year and heroically managed to save the game for India along with Ravi Ashwin, despite both being injured. Since then Vihari recovered from his injury and also played in the County Championship before joining team India players for England tour.

However, he was benched for the whole tour with India opting for five proper bowling options. There is a report doing the rounds that Hanuma Vihari has been dropped from the Indian team, however, according to ESPNCricinfo, the Hyderabad batter will be touring to South Africa with the India A team for three four-day matches.

The selectors also announced a squad for the tour a couple of days ago but Vihari’s name was missing from it. It is understood that the 28-year-old has been the last minute addition to the squad. The selectors have not commented anything about his omission from India squad and if he is indeed dropped, it is only fair that Vihari gets an explanation.

On the flip side, team India management could also be planning him to keep him prepared for the South Africa tour where the team might need an extra batter.

Hanuma Vihari has played 12 Tests so far for India

As far as his international career is concerned, Hanuma Vihari has played 12 Tests so far for India, all away from home. He has never played a Test match in India thanks to the team’s set combination with two spinners in Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja doing extremely well. But in away Tests, Vihari has played a few solid knocks including his only century in West Indies.

He has so far amassed 624 runs in 21 innings at an average of close to 33. Apart from a ton, he has also notched up four fifties doing literally everything the team asked him of. It remains to be seen now if Vihari gets another chance to represent India or selectors have indeed dropped him.

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