Bengaluru, September 7: Gade Hanuma Vihari became the 292nd player to appear for India in Test cricket when he was drafted into the playing eleven for the fifth and final Test against England at the Oval, starting from Friday (September 7).
Here's MyKhel brings in a quick profile of Hanuma Vihari - a first class cricketer from Andhra. Hanuma Vihari started his first class cricket with Hyderabad before joining Andhra in 2016.
Hanuma Vihari, who bowls occasional off-spin, has a first-class average of 59.79, the best domestic average in the world among current cricketers and the second is Steve Smith who averages 57.27.
Why did the selectors pick Vihari?
Several eyebrows were raised when Vihari was selected ahead of Mayank Agarwal because the latter had scored over 2000 runs across the formats in the 2017-18 domestic season and has also been in good form for India A of late. But Vihari too was prolific - scoring 752 runs from six matches at 94.
He also scored an unbeaten 302 against Odisha and a 327-ball 183 for Rest for India against Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha against the likes of Umesh Yadav and Rajneesh Gurbani.
Overseas and India A efforts
In England, he played two seasons (2014 and 2015) for Hutton CC in the Shephered Neame Essex First Division League and made six centuries. Vihari also has been a part of the preparatory tours to Sri Lanka with Andhra.
He was included in the India A four-day and limited over squads and made most of the opportunity. In the ODs he finished the third-highest run-getter - 253 runs in three innings with a highest of 147 against West Indies A). Against South Africa A in Bengaluru, he made a match-winning 148 in a four-day game. That said Vihari is not a regular in the IPL and his last stint in the league was with Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2015.
"When I get an opportunity, I want to make it count" - @Hanumavihari had said before joining the team in England. Just the right time to listen in to Test debutant #HanumaVihari on his expectations, aspirations & preparations #ENGvIND— BCCI (@BCCI) September 7, 2018
Video Link 📹 https://t.co/Zd0iGw79BB pic.twitter.com/QJQwJp7QP3
Hanuma Vihari had won the U-19 World Cup 2012. At first, he wasn't part of the squad but was selected after Manan Vohra fractured his thumb hours before flying out to Australia.
What Vihari said of his selection
"It's indeed a surreal moment for me and my family. I have been scoring runs in domestic cricket over the last few years but have not really expected this call up. But I am ready for the challenge."