BENGALURU: Hanuma Vihari has been an example of consistency in the domestic circuit. The right-hander accumulated 752, 688, 626, 780, 841 runs in his last five Ranji Trophy seasons; a reason for his maiden India call-up for the final England Test.Vihari had some iffy moments against the swing-bowling wiles of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. But the gritty batsman notched up a 124-ball 56 and took three wickets to boot.
“Once I got my eye in, I got used to the conditions. So, I was not thinking who was bowling at me and I was just focusing on the ball. I was making adjustments with my front foot because Broad was getting it in quite sharply. I (opened my stance), giving more space with my front foot, and those were the adjustments I made to ensure I counter the in-swing,” said Vihari of his debut at the Oval.
Having made his mark and retained his place in the Test squad, the Andhra Pradesh captain is determined to prove he is no one-dimensional batsman. Batting in the limited-over formats is something he has to work on.Although his domestic T20 average and strike rate (21.38 and 111) are not that impressive, the right-hander has quietly been changing the perception about him the 50-over batsman. His List A numbers are far better (average 45.43, strike rate 82.86).
“My mindset has changed in limited-over cricket. I want to be more aggressive. I have a formula for the four-day format, which I don’t want to change much. But in one-dayers and T20s, I want to be more expressive. I know I have the shots. I want to be the X factor in the team,” remarked the batsman after his team lost to Hyderabad in the Vijay Hazare quarterfinal on Tuesday.
He has played some knocks that suggest he is gradually making this shift. The 99-ball 95 against Hyderabad went in vain, but it was noticed that he hit four sixes. Last season against Mumbai, he made a blistering 118-ball 169 to help Andhra beat Mumbai. In a Deodhar Trophy game against an India A attack featuring the likes of Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Basil Thampi, Shahbaz Nadeem and Krunal Pandya, his contribution was a match-winning 76-ball 95.
“I just don’t want to contribute to the team score but I also want to win matches. With my game, I want to create some fear in the opposition when I’m there in the crease. That is how I want to look at one-dayers and T20s,” concluded the 25-year-old, who will soon shift focus to Ranji Trophy.