Hanuma Vihari presents India with left-field choice for opener

India New Zealand Test Series Virat Kohli India tour of New Zealand 2020

India New Zealand Test Series Virat Kohli India tour of New Zealand 2020

Vihari fell down the pecking order in the home series after India's series-opener against South Africa at Visakhapatnam past year despite getting runs in the West Indies.

"Sunday's my focus and then I'll be looking to play some first-class cricket". "As of now, I've not been informed [of] anything". It's obvious that one batter has to miss out. Hanuma Vihari took to Instagram where he posted the collage of his innings and captioned it as, "Hope you liked the gift! As I said before as well if the team requires me to bat wherever I am ready to bat", said Vihari, who retired after scoring 101 off 182 balls as quoted by Republic. So I took it in my stride.

"We've got a lot of white-ball stuff and I head away to the IPL as well, so it's important with a calf injury, where there's a high percentage chance of re-injury, that we be conservative".

There was plenty of excitement when the speedster finally got the nod in Perth before Christmas, two years after he was first included in a test squad, but by the tea break his involvement in the match as a bowler was over.

"Once we adjusted, me and Puji (Pujara's nickname), we got our eye in, then we knew we had to bat long and that's exactly what we did", Vihari said. "Because their [New Zealand's] strength is fast bowling, so maybe they'll give this much grass or a little less".

The bounce at Seddon Park may have been a surprise, but the grass cover was fairly typical of New Zealand pitches in red-ball cricket. Not that it's easy to make any of the sides, but they've been exceptional for so long, and especially the fast-bowling attack, that's been very settled for a long time. "They were tough and it's good to experience tough conditions before the series and we're happy with the way the day went".

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"Vihari's assessment is pretty similar to what Shubman Gill told reporters on Thursday, that horizontal bat shots (hook and pull) are avoidable on these kind of tracks". Prithvi Shaw is just a bit more experienced than Shubman Gill, having already played two Tests and three ODIs compared to his former U19 teammate's one ODI.

So what was the advice from his senior partner Pujara? "I listened to him and it paid off".

"Since I started playing professional cricket, it has been my goal to play test cricket, because personally I feel that's the biggest challenge", he said.

"When the wicket flattens out, they (NZ bowlers) try to experiment with the short balls and I am sure even Neil Wagner will come up with the same ploy".

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