How Manan Vohra’s injured thumb turned Hanuma Vihari’s career around
In his short career so far, Vihari has been shunted up the order to open and he has also been shuffled around the middle-order.
India were taking on England at the Oval. James Anderson had the ball in his hand, the clouds had rolled in and the lights were on. On any given day and under any conditions, Anderson gets the ball to talk - here, under the clouds, the ball sang, it blared out tunes which were too difficult for the Indian batsmen to decipher. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane perished, Virat Kohli was finding it tough to counter the movement and in this din, out walked Hanuma Vihari to mark his guard and start his Test career. Anderson kept landing the ball on a length and he kept jagging it away - Vihari was comfortable leaving them. He then banged the ball in and Vihari was hurried, a top edge pull got him going and the young man, in a trial by fire, scored a half-century on debut.
In his short career so far, he has been shunted up the order to open and he has also been shuffled around the middle-order. But now, he could have just won the confidence of the captain and management to get a long rope in the middle order. His journey which started with the Indian Under 19 team in 2012, has found his calling with the Indian Test team.
And, well, as if it was all destiny, Vihari could only find a spot in the Indian Under-19 side because Manan Vohra had injured his thumb and was ruled out of the Under-19 side.
In Antigua, he was dismissed for 93, and the young man was not trying to play for the maiden century, he perished because he was trying to up the ante - one for the team as they day.
A journey which started with a bit of fortune, Vihari is certainly charting his own route. “Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, but I am happy that I could contribute to the team’s success. Maybe, one day will come when I cross that three-figure mark,” he said at the end of the day.