Returning to the Test Team Despite Diminished Expectations


Hanuma Vihari, the Andhra cricketer, is striving to make a comeback to the Indian Test team after a hiatus since the Edgbaston Test in mid-2022. Despite not being in the selectors’ recent radar, Vihari remains committed to improving his game and contributing to Andhra’s success in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season.

“I do feel sad and disappointed that I am not in the Test team, but everyone goes through ups and downs, and my job now is to score runs in the Ranji Trophy,” Vihari expressed to ESPNcricinfo after Andhra’s victory against Bihar, their third consecutive win in the tournament. He aims to score consistently and earn a recall to the national side.

Reflecting on his last Test appearance, Vihari mentioned that he had a conversation with head coach Rahul Dravid after the Edgbaston Test, where he received feedback on areas for improvement. However, since then, he hasn’t had any further communication with the Indian team management or selectors. Despite this, Vihari remains focused on his game and strives to enjoy the sport, emphasizing that giving his best on the field is his primary goal.

“At a stage [in my career] where I have no expectations. I give my best each time I bat and then whatever happens will happen,” Vihari remarked, highlighting his pragmatic approach to the future.

Vihari also reminisced about the iconic Sydney Test in January 2021, where he played a crucial role in securing a draw against Australia. Despite carrying injuries, Vihari, along with R Ashwin, defied the Australian bowling attack for over 42 overs, contributing to a memorable result for India. He described the Sydney Test as a special moment in his career, setting the stage for India’s historic series win in Brisbane.

While Vihari focuses on his cricketing journey, he acknowledged the contrasting career trajectory of his former teammate Unmukt Chand, who captained India’s Under-19 World Cup-winning team in 2012 but didn’t establish himself at the senior level. Chand has since moved to the USA and has the opportunity to play in the 2024 T20 World Cup. Vihari expressed his support for Chand’s career choices and wished him success in his endeavors.

As Vihari continues to excel in domestic cricket, he remains hopeful of making a comeback to international cricket, driven by his passion for the game and determination to succeed at the highest level.

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