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How Virat Kohli helped Hanuma Vihari on Test debut against England at Oval

Hanuma Vihari had a brilliant Test debut as he performed with both bat and ball during India’s final Test against England at the Oval.

cricket Updated: Sep 15, 2018 18:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Hanuma Vihari,Virat Kohli,India vs England
India's Hanuma Vihari, left, celebrates taking the wicket of England's Sam Curran with captain Virat Kohli.(AP)

It was a debut to remember for Hanuma Vihari as the 24-year old contributed both with the ball and ball during India’s final Test against England at the Oval. It was a huge occasion for the young all-rounder and it was skipper Virat Kohli who helped him in calming his nerves while batting in the first innings.

“I was blank at that moment. It felt like a different world altogether — going out there to face James Anderson and Stuart Broad. I have been watching them on TV from a young age. And then to be suddenly facing them felt surreal,” Vihari told Firstpost in an interview.

“It was difficult in the initial period. Kohli helped me a bit from the other end. He gave me few cues which helped me initially. He told me that this is the hardest conditions you will get in international cricket. Nothing comes close to this. If you go through this spell by Anderson and Broad, it will be a good experience in your first Test innings. The words gave me a lot of confidence,” he added.

Vihari, who was fortunate to survive an LBW decision when he was on nought, struck seven fours and a six en route to his maiden Test fifty. Vihari scored 56 before he was dismissed by Moeen Ali.

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“The intensity of the game is very different than what you play at India A. The importance of each ball is much more at the international level than at any other level. I am well prepared for my next tour as I know what needs to be done to match that intensity. It will give me a better chance of performing.”

Vihari also delivered with the ball as he had excellent figures of 3/37. Joe Root and Alastair Cook fell in successive balls to become the part-time off-spinner’s first Test wickets.

The Andhra played said that he wants to work on his bowling and turn it into a useful asset.

“I want to improve as a bowler. If you have a batsman in top six who can bowl, it makes a huge difference for a team. I have started bowling a lot now. And will look to focus more and more on it. This can help the team as well as me in the long run,” said Vihari.

First Published: Sep 15, 2018 18:27 IST