Indian batsman Hanuma Vihari helped draw the third Test of the series against Australia in Sydney. He played an unbeaten innings of 23 off 161 balls with Ravichandran Ashwin and India drew the match on the 5th day. Hanuma has now revealed that he had messaged veteran Rahul Dravid.
Hanuma battled a hamstring injury in the Sydney Test, first partnering with Cheteshwar Pujara and then batting for more than three hours with Ashwin, who himself was suffering from backache.
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Following India’s historic feat of winning back-to-back Test series on Australian soil, Vihari credited former Indian captain Rahul Dravid with narrowing the gap between domestic and international players.
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Vihari, 27, told Sports Today, ‘I loved sending text to Rahul sir after the Sydney Test. He (Dravid) said in reply that ‘Very well, you did a great job’.
Vihari praised Dravid for giving the youngsters a chance during the India-A tours as he said that this prepares players for international cricket. He said, ‘The players who were there (India-A), Siraj, Saini, Shubman, Mayank Agarwal, who were part of that side, all played a lot of cricket together. In the last 3-4 years, we played many India A tours and then the coach (Rahul Dravid) was the same. ‘
He said, ‘I don’t think we played so many India-A tournaments before that, which reduced the gap between Ranji Trophy and Indian team. That is why we are playing our first game or second game, but remain ready for the challenge. We are second to none. Rahul sir made it possible.
Vihari said, ‘As youngsters we have to give him a lot of credit, the way he let us play our game. When we play under his supervision, it always seems that he is more of a mentor than a coach. He is always there when he is needed.
The Hyderabad player said, ‘Even during the last Australia tour, I called him and said, Sir, I am making my debut. He said that you have done exceptionally well for Ranji Trophy and India A, so you are ready to play. They gave me confidence. ‘
Vihari is currently at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for his rehabilitation and will not be a part of the home series against England from February 5 due to hamstring.
Hanuma Vihari has played 12 Test matches in his career so far. He has also taken 5 wickets in the Test scoring 624 runs. He has played 90 matches in first class cricket with 21 centuries and 36 half-centuries to his name.