India vs South Africa: Hanuma Vihari reveals influence of Virat Kohli in Indian dressing room
At the end of the West Indies series, Indian captain Virat Kohli was a satisfied man. India had started their World Test Championship campaign in style and the skipper was all praise for this side. During the post-match presentation, Kohli identified Hanuma Vihari as the man who impressed everyone in the dressing room. He also said that the dressing room feels a lot of calm when the young right-hander bats in the middle.
Hanuma Vihari, who has made a stellar start to his Test career, does not want to take things for granted. He credits the atmosphere in the dressing room for this recent run of scores and speaks about the influence of Virat Kohli on his game and on the entire team.
“He (Kohli) sets an example - on the field and off the field, with the work ethic he has. He is an inspiration in the dressing room, especially for youngsters. We look at him like an idol and someone who we can follow,” Vihari told ESPNCricinfo.
During the series, West Indies legend Viv Richards spoke about how Vihari played in the V and this was one of the keys to his batting.
“Playing in the V was always my strength. If you ask anyone who has seen me in the early years of my career, they would say it is. Once I get my eye in, I dominate the spinners. Even the fast bowlers. I widen my range of shots, but initially I try to hit in the V and play as straight as possible,” he further added.
After convincing performances in Australia and West Indies, Vihari, who averages 60 in first class cricket, is excited to take guard in home conditions. He will be a key component of the Indian middle order against South Africa in the upcoming Test series. However, he is not taking things for granted and wants to give it his best shot.
“Every team, especially now with the Test Championship, will come hard for a win. Especially when they’re playing away. They want an away win. It’ll boost their chances for the championship. I don’t want to take it easy and be complacent,” the right-hander said.