Hanuma Vihari, despite a memorable performance against Australia in January 2021, finds himself out of the selection radar. His 23 not out from 161 balls, along with R Ashwin’s 39 off 128 balls, helped India draw a crucial match. India eventually secured a historic 2-1 Test series victory in Australia.

Vihari struggles to find a spot in the Indian cricket team with notable middle-order vacancies. He has scored 839 runs from 16 Tests at an average of 33.56, including a 100 and five 50s.

Vihari, during an interview with ESPNcricinfo, revealed that Rahul Dravid had provided feedback on areas for improvement after his last Test appearance. However, since then, there’s been no communication from Dravid, captain Rohit Sharma or the selectors.

“I do feel sad (that I am not in the Test team). But, every player goes through ups and downs. Now, my job is to score runs in the Ranji Trophy. The season has been fine so far, both for the team and for me. I’ll try to score more runs and return to the Test team,” Vihari told ESPNcricinfo.

The 30-year-old was asked if the tag of being a Test cricketer worked against his batting style. He said, “Honestly, I don’t think that much. Why to bother what others think of me? I just think of improving my game and enjoying it. If I’m not enjoying the game then what’s the point?”

Then, he was asked if he expected to get selected by grabbing attention from selectors with impressive performances. Vihari said, “At this stage, I don’t have any expectations. I give it my best in every match and in every innings and score as many runs as possible.”

Hanuma Vihari plays for Andhra Pradesh

Vihari has been a standout performer for Andhra Pradesh. Currently, with 365 runs in seven innings, he’s a key player for his team, which is contending well in the Elite Group B. Meanwhile, the Indian Test team has been struggling with its middle order.

With KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja out of the team, no other batter could score significant runs in the 2nd Test against England in Vizag. India, however, won the match by 106 runs.

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Published: 07 Feb 2024, 11:31 AM IST

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