Hanuma Vihari has credited his success in the second Test against the West Indies at Jamaica to Ravi Shastri. The middle-order batsman revealed that the India head coach had advised him to flex his knee while batting instead of staying upright.
Vihari (53 not out and 111) was adjudged the Player of the Match in India’s 257-run win over the hosts in the second Test on Monday.
Asked what did Shastri told him after the first innings, Vihari said: “He [Shastri] was talking about flexing my knees a little bit. I was a little upright in the first innings so flexing my knees meant I could move my foot both on front and back foot.
“It worked out very well and a lot of credit should go to him,” Vihari told India fielding coach R Sridhar during an interview in the BCCI website.
The 25-year-old emerged as India’s top run-getter against the West Indies in the two-match Test series with 289 runs. The Andhra batsman had also scored a 93 in the first Test in North Sound.
“I relish batting under pressure because that is the challenge you have to accept as a batsman and these situations brings the best out of me,” he said.
Vihari added, “I feel I try to focus on what the situation is, and have a certain game plan and I was fortunate enough to have good partnerships with Jinx [Ajinkya Rahane]. He batted beautifully as well.”
Vihari said he drew confidence from his India A outings months leading up to the the two-match Test series against the West Indies. “I was in really good space,” he said.
“I have been in Caribbean for last two months, I have been practicing and playing matches on this wicket. So I was really confident and I think I played well in the practice match and it gave me that extra boost. I was looking forward to this series and I am happy it went well.”
In his first year in international cricket, Vihari has played six Tests but he seemed to have lost a bit of hair, got married, and has also scored 6000 plus first-class runs despite being just 25 years-old.
“I started my first class cricket quite early and that’s why I could score 6000 runs. I don’t know about the hair...maybe too much batting from childhood,” he chuckled. “That experience will count, batting for nine years in first-class cricket, and it helped me in pressure situations.”